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  1. keannu's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Korean
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      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
      • South Korea

    • Join Date: Dec 2010
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    #1

    his words failed him?

    This is in a scary situation, and when you say "words fail someone", does it mean "he tried to say something, but failed to do it" or "he said something, but it was no help"?

    ex)...He suddenly felt an uneasy darkness consume him from within. He opened his mouth to call for help, but his words failed him.

  2. nyota's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2009
    • Posts: 615
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    #2

    Re: his words failed him?

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    This is in a scary situation, and when you say "words fail someone", does it mean "he tried to say something, but failed to do it" or "he said something, but it was no help"?

    ex)...He suddenly felt an uneasy darkness consume him from within. He opened his mouth to call for help, but his words failed him.
    It means you're speechless, you don't know what to say.

    words fail me spoken
    used to say that you are so surprised, angry, or shocked that you do not know what to say:
    - I ... words fail me. Longman - word

  3. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,167
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    #3

    Re: his words failed him?

    Omit 'his'.

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