WORD (phrases)

In the English Vocabulary Profile at B1:

not believe/understand/hear/say, etc. a word = anything

A search in iWeb corpus for:

_XX _VV a word

1 N’T SAY A WORD 1726

Don’t say a word against my father.

listen

2 NOT SAY A WORD 756
3 N’T UNDERSTAND A WORD 608

It was brillianteven though I didn’t understand a word of it.

listen

4 N’T BELIEVE A WORD 576

I don’t believe a word of it.

listen

5 N’T SPEAK A WORD 433
6 NOT SAYING A WORD 313
7 NOT SPEAK A WORD 288
8 N’T SAID A WORD 255
9 N’T HEAR A WORD 239
10 NOT UNDERSTAND A WORD 219
11 N’T HEARD A WORD 212
12 NOT SAID A WORD 178
13 N’T GET A WORD 177
14 NOT BELIEVE A WORD 158
15 NOT HEARD A WORD 148
16 NOT UTTER A WORD 139
17 N’T KNOW A WORD 111
18 NOT HEAR A WORD 91
19 NOT SPEAKING A WORD 72
20 N’T UTTER A WORD 65
21 NOT KNOW A WORD 60
22 NOT SPOKEN A WORD 52
23 N’T MISS A WORD 48
24 NOT KNOWING A WORD 47
25 N’T READ A WORD 46
26 NOT USE A WORD 45
27 N’T FIND A WORD 44
28 NOT GET A WORD 44
29 N’T SPOKEN A WORD 43
30 NOT FIND A WORD 42


Listed at B2:

have a word (with sb)
to talk to someone for a short time

Note that this structure is often found in polite requests:

I was wondering if I could have a word with you?

listen

Mary, would you mind if I had a word with Danny in private?

listen

A search in the NOW corpus for

* * have a word with

1 NEED TO HAVE A WORD WITH 73

I need to have a word with her.

listen

2 LIKE TO HAVE A WORD WITH 66
3 WANT TO HAVE A WORD WITH 66
4 I’LL HAVE A WORD WITH 45
5 NEEDS TO HAVE A WORD WITH 37


explain what something means in a different way

In other words, I will try my best to lighten my load, take a chill pill and have a wonderful time.

listen


At C1:

give sb your word = to promise someone something

A search in the NOW corpus for:

GIVE _P _AP word

1 GIVE YOU MY WORD 392

I give you my word.

listen

2 GAVE ME HIS WORD 47

He gave me his word.
I believed him.

Following

3 GAVE HIM MY WORD 40
4 GAVE US HIS WORD 35
5 GIVEN US HIS WORD 26
6 GAVE YOU HIS WORD 26
7 GIVING YOU MY WORD 21
8 GAVE THEM MY WORD 21
9 GIVEN ME THEIR WORD 20
10 GIVES YOU HIS WORD 16


take sb’s word for it = to believe what someone says without any proof

A search in NOW corpus:

1 TAKE MY WORD FOR IT 2721

Don’t take my word for it.

listen

2 TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT 1340
3 TAKE THEIR WORD FOR IT 555
4 TAKE HIS WORD FOR IT 475
5 TAKE YOUR WORD FOR IT 305
6 TAKE HER WORD FOR IT 151
7 TOOK HIS WORD FOR IT 65
8 TAKE MY WORD FOR THIS 48
9 TOOK THEIR WORD FOR IT 44
10 TAKING THEIR WORD FOR IT 43


keep your word = to do what you said you would do

1 KEPT HIS WORD 1049

Three days lateryour granddad was deadbut Winocki kept his word.

listen

2 KEEP HIS WORD 919
3 KEEP THEIR WORD 719

You actually trust the French to keep their word?

The Patriot

4 KEEP ITS WORD 427
5 KEEPING HIS WORD 344
6 KEEPS HIS WORD 325
7 KEPT THEIR WORD 262
8 KEEP YOUR WORD 241
9 KEPT ITS WORD 228
10 KEEP MY WORD 210


At C2:

word for word = using the exact words that were originally used

A search in COCA for collocates of ‘word for word’:

1 ALMOST 87
2 SAME 30

You may have noticed that first paragraph is almost word for word the same as the article we recently published 

about Amy Reeder‘s Loki variant cover, with some exceptions.

bleedingcool.com

3 READ 27
4 REMEMBER 23
5 STORY 18
6 EXACTLY 16
7 REPEATED 15
8 REPEAT 14
9 QUOTE 14
10 NEARLY 14


in sb’s words = used when you repeat what someone said

A search in the NOW corpus for:

in the _N _GE words

1 IN THE PRESIDENT’s WORDS 86

In the President‘s words: We‘re working hard and as fast as we can to get people out. That‘s our mission. That‘s our goal.”

theage.com.au

2 IN THE AUTHOR’s WORDS 81
3 IN THE COMPANY’s WORDS 70
4 IN THE COURT’s WORDS 37
5 IN THE GOVERNMENT’s WORDS 34
6 IN THE ARTIST’s WORDS 31
7 IN THE JUDGE’s WORDS 31
8 IN THE AUTHORS’ WORDS 27
9 IN THE TEACHER’s WORDS 20
10 IN THE GOVERNOR’s WORDS 19
11 IN THE MINISTER’s WORDS 19
12 IN THE REPORT’s WORDS 16
13 IN THE COACH’s WORDS 11
14 IN THE MAYOR’s WORDS 11
15 IN THE RESEARCHERS’ WORDS 11

A search for:

in the _JJ words of

1 IN THE IMMORTAL WORDS OF 839
2 IN THE WISE WORDS OF 193

Take a break from the basics and, in the wise words of Charles Wright: express yourself!

Hong Kong Tatler

3 IN THE FAMOUS WORDS OF 173
4 IN THE MEMORABLE WORDS OF 50
5 IN THE INFAMOUS WORDS OF 34
6 IN THE GREAT WORDS OF 30
7 IN THE FINAL WORDS OF 29
8 IN THE ETERNAL WORDS OF 23
9 IN THE EXACT WORDS OF 21
10 IN THE RECENT WORDS OF 21


be lost for words = to be so surprised, angry or moved by something that you do not know what to say

A woman is expected to be charged following an alleged incident north of Melbourne which left local policelost for words“.

news.com.au

at a loss for words = not knowing what to say

Paying tribute to Mr Cooper, his longtime friend Terry Gordon said he was at a loss for words over his friend‘s death.

abc.net.au

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