Don't say a word

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A: I want to tell you something.
B: Shut up! and don't say anything.

- Instead of "don't say anything", can I say "don't say a word"? :)

Thanks a lot!

  • panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    There is nothing wrong with either, but the A&B dialogue is very strange.
    Shut up and don't say anything.
    Shut up and don't say a word.

    B's response is rude, and having said "Shut up" which is very abrupt and dismissive, the much more gentle "don't ..." expressions are incongruous.


    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    Hi, I also have a question about "say a word" and the context is that someone asked why I didn't talk in my chat group (like a chat room) and I answered:

    I'm very busy so I don't want to say a word.

    I wonder if "want to" can modify "say a word" here. Since "say a word" is more often than not used alone, like most of the threads in our dictionary shows. (say a word)


    V+say a word is common, how about V+V phrase+say a word. I think it's okay, but I'm not sure.
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