a man of his word/words

taked4700

Senior Member
japanese japan
Hi,

My dictionary says that "a man of his word" means that he keeps his promise. But I think a lot of people would use "a man of his words" to mean the same.

Which is right?

Thanks in advance.
 
  • Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    A man of words = A person who speaks or writes well.

    A man of his word = A person who keeps his promises.
     

    taked4700

    Senior Member
    japanese japan
    Thank you, Prawer and Pob14.

    I can find so many people using "a man of his words", so let me ask you if there is some difference in nuance between the two.

    I guess plural often indicates stronger meaning such as "Many thanks", "Best regards" and so on.

    Is it ok to think that "a man of his words" connotes he keeps his promise more accurately than "a man of his word" ?

    Thanks in advance.
     

    prawer

    Member
    English - US
    Taked,

    I don't think the plural would be used to intensify the meaning, and I do sense like (pob14 and Packard) that "man of his word" is the preferred alternative. But I also think many people use "a man of his words" to indicate the same meaning as "a man of his word."
     

    taked4700

    Senior Member
    japanese japan
    Thank you, Prawer.

    And thank you,Packard. After posting, I came to notice you have posted.

    Thanks again for your kindness.
    taked4700
     

    Steven8

    Member
    Chinese
    Hi, everyone

    I have a follow-up question for you.

    If a man of his word means he keeps his promises, can I say I'm a man of my word to mean I am a person who always keep my promises. The question may sound a little silly, if you want to laugh, feel free to laugh, I've noticed that it's regarded as a set phrase, so I'm not really sure if the subject can be changed to I, or she.

    Thanks
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    It isn't a silly question at all, Steven.

    He's a man of his word. :tick:
    She's a woman of her word.:tick:
    They are men of their word, we are men of our word, etc.:tick: I wouldn't use the plural "words", even with a plural subject, as I prefer to stick to the set phrase.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I don't recall hearing the phrase used with the plural words. Like veli, I prefer to stick to the set phrase. There are also other phrases with the singular word, eg 'my word is my bond', 'to give somebody your word', 'to keep your word', etc. They don't work with words.
     
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