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Thread: words

  1. #1
    notletrest is offline Senior Member
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    Default words

    1.WE say "keep one's word; go back on one's word", why can't we say "eat one's word"? In the 3 phrases ,word has the same meaning, i.e. what one had said before, I think.
    2.Can we say " get a hold of somebody"?
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Amigos4's Avatar
    Amigos4 is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: words

    Quote Originally Posted by notletrest View Post
    1.WE say "keep one's word; go back on one's word", why can't we say "eat one's word"? In the 3 phrases ,word has the same meaning, i.e. what one had said before, I think.
    2.Can we say " get a hold of somebody"?
    Thanks.
    Native speakers do say "eat one's words". For example, 'It might be necessary to eat one's words when proven to be wrong.'

    Yes, we can say 'get a hold of somebody'. "Please get a hold of somebody if I do not return by midnight."

  3. #3
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: words

    Quote Originally Posted by notletrest View Post
    1.WE say "keep one's word; go back on one's word", why can't we say "eat one's word"? In the 3 phrases ,word has the same meaning, i.e. what one had said before, I think.
    Thanks.
    Not really. In the first two, your "word" is your promise.
    In the second, your "words" are what you said, and you eat them because you were wrong.

    When you break your word, you have shown a lack of integrity. When you have to eat your words, you are simply mistaken.

    I will loan you $10 once I get paid on Friday is a promise. If I don't loan it to you, I've broken my word or gone back on my word.

    You will never repay me the $10 you owe me. Then you do, so I have to eat my words.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    notletrest is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: words

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Not really. In the first two, your "word" is your promise.
    In the second, your "words" are what you said, and you eat them because you were wrong.

    When you break your word, you have shown a lack of integrity. When you have to eat your words, you are simply mistaken.

    I will loan you $10 once I get paid on Friday is a promise. If I don't loan it to you, I've broken my word or gone back on my word.

    You will never repay me the $10 you owe me. Then you do, so I have to eat my words.
    I am obliged to you for your detai explain and clear examples.

  5. #5
    notletrest is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: words

    Quote Originally Posted by amigos4 View Post
    Native speakers do say "eat one's words". For example, 'It might be necessary to eat one's words when proven to be wrong.'

    Yes, we can say 'get a hold of somebody'. "Please get a hold of somebody if I do not return by midnight."
    Thanks a lot!

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