“说” (shuō) and “讲” (jiǎng) both mean speak, say, tell when narrating a story, an account； or an event, or explain, make clear, interpret.
请校长来给同学们说/讲几句话。(Qǐng xiàozhǎng lái gěi tóngxuémen shuō/jiǎng jǐ jù huà.)
Please have the principal come and speak a few words to the students.
你有意见就说/讲出来吧。(Nǐ yǒu yìjiàn jiù shuō/jiǎng chūlái ba.)
If you have any opinions, just say them out.
你说一下/讲一下你的旅行经历吧。(Nǐ shuō yīxià/jiǎng yīxià nǐ de lǚxíng jīnglì ba.)
Please talk about your travel experience.
他讲了一个有趣的故事。 (Tā jiǎng le yīgè yǒuqù de gùshì.)
He told an interesting story.
请不要说话/讲话。 (Qǐng bùyào shuōhuà/jiǎnghuà.)
Please don’t speak.
In Mandarin Chinese, both “说” (shuō) and “讲” (jiǎng) as verb can be used to mean “to speak” or “to talk,” but they are used in slightly different contexts and have nuanced differences.
As a verb
“说” is a more general and versatile term for “to speak” or “to talk.” It is commonly used in various situations and contexts.
It is used in everyday conversation and can refer to any kind of speech or communication, such as speaking a language, saying something, or expressing thoughts or opinions.
“说” is often used to indicate simple speech without emphasizing the content or form of the speech itself.
他会说英语。 (Tā huì shuō Yīngyǔ.)
He can speak English.
老师说她了，上课总是不认真。(Lǎoshī shuō tā le, shàngkè zǒng shì bù rènzhēn.)
The teacher scolds her; she is never attentive in class.
他们为什么不做作业，说了半天也没说清楚。(Tāmen wèishénme bù zuò zuòyè, shuō le bàntiān yě méi shuō qīngchǔ.)
Why aren’t they doing their homework? They explained for a long time but still didn’t explain clearly.
As a noun
“说” can be used as a noun to indicate theory, teachings or doctrine. “讲” has no such usage.
孔子的学说影响着中国文化。(Kǒngzǐ de xuéshuō yǐngxiǎngzhe Zhōngguó wénhuà.)
Confucius’s teachings influence Chinese culture.
我只是这么一说，你听听就可以了。(Wǒ zhǐshì zhème yī shuō, nǐ tīng tīng jiù kěyǐ le.)
I just said this much; you can listen to it.
他们的建议也是一说。(Tāmen de jiànyì yě shì yī shuō.)
Their suggestions are also something to consider.
As a verb
“讲” is used more specifically to refer to giving a speech, lecture, or presentation. It often implies a more formal or organized form of communication.
It is commonly used in the context of giving talks, speeches, lectures, or presentations on a particular topic or subject.
“讲” as a verb can also mean discuss or negotiate.
When indicating “pay attention to” “stress” “be particular about”, we also use “讲”.
他今天要在会议上讲话。 (Tā jīntiān yào zài huìyì shàng jiǎnghuà.)
He will give a speech at the meeting today.
老师在课堂上讲了一堂精彩的历史课。 (Lǎoshī zài kètáng shàng jiǎng le yī táng jīngcǎi de lìshǐ kè.)
The teacher gave a fascinating history lecture in class.
不要跟我讲条件，这件事只能听我的。(Bùyào gēn wǒ jiǎng tiáojiàn, zhè jiàn shì zhǐnéng tīng wǒ de.) Don’t talk terms with me; I have the final say in this matter.
在这个市场买东西一定要讲价。(Zài zhège shìchǎng mǎi dōngxi yīdìng yào jiǎng jià.)
When buying things in this market, you must negotiate the price.
你怎么不讲礼貌呢？(Nǐ zěnme bù jiǎng lǐmào ne?)
Why aren’t you being polite?
买东西要讲实用。(Mǎi dōngxi yào jiǎng shíyòng.)
When buying things, you should consider their practicality.
As a preposition
“讲” indicates as far as something is concerned, when it comes to, as regards.
讲年纪，你更年轻，但是讲经验，还是她更丰富。(Jiǎng niánjì, nǐ gèng niánqīng, dànshì jiǎng jīngyàn, háishì tā gèng fēngfù.)
Speaking of age, you are younger, but when it comes to experience, she is more experienced.
讲人品，他真的无可挑剔。(Jiǎng rénpǐn, tā zhēn de wúkě tiāocī.)
When it comes to character, he is truly impeccable.
讲条件，你们两个相差无几，很配。(Jiǎng tiáojiàn, nǐmen liǎng gè xiāngchà wújǐ, hěn pèi.)
Talking about conditions, there isn’t much difference between the two of you; you are well-matched.
As a classifier
“讲” can be used as a measure word indicating the times of a lecture or speech.
今天我们准备上第三讲。(Jīntiān wǒmen zhǔnbèi shàng dì sān jiǎng.)
Today, we are preparing for the third lecture.
我错过了这个讲座的最后一讲。(Wǒ cuòguòle zhège jiǎngzuò de zuìhòu yī jiǎng.)
I missed the final part of this lecture.
这门课一共三十讲。(Zhè mén kè yīgòng sānshí jiǎng.)
There are a total of thirty lectures in this course.
In summary, while both words share common meanings related to speech and communication, “说” is more general and versatile, while “讲” is more specific, often used in formal or organized contexts and has additional prepositional and classifier uses.