I have her father's word for it

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Jardino, Jan 13, 2019 at 1:40 AM.

  1. Jardino

    Jardino Senior Member

    Korean
    Topic
    At the mention of this word, Miss Trunchbull's face turned purple and her whole body seemed to swell up like a bullfrog's. "A genius!" she shouted. "What piffle is this you are talking, madam? You must be out of your mind! I have her father's word for it that the child is a gangster!"
    Matilda by Roald Dahl

    I hold the word that her father told me / I had talking with her father's for a shortime
    which one is correct ?
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019 at 3:03 AM
  2. dojibear

    dojibear Senior Member

    Fresno CA
    English - Northeast US
    "I have her father's word for it" means "Her father said it". It doesn't mean anything else.

    Sometimes a person's "word" just means the things they have said.
    I have only your word about this. (I have no other evidence: just what you said)

    Sometimes it means things they have promised.
    He is a man of his word. (If he promises something, he does it)

    Sometimes it means things they have sworn are true.
    It happened. I give you my word. I swear it.
     
  3. srk Senior Member

    South Bend, Indiana
    English - US
    I disagree. I understand it as "Her father swears that it is true."
     
  4. Jardino

    Jardino Senior Member

    Korean
    Then 'I had talking with her father's for a shortime for it' , Does this seems right?
     
  5. Jardino

    Jardino Senior Member

    Korean
    How can you understand like that? What does that have mean here?
     
  6. srk Senior Member

    South Bend, Indiana
    English - US
    This is the meaning of "word" in your sentence:

    5. assurance or promise:
    He gave his word (that) he'd be on time.

    To have someones word for something means to have their assurance or promise about something. It does not mean to have the experience of talking to them.

    I give you my word I'll be there on time = I promise you I'll be there on time. = You have my word I'll be there on time.
    I give you my word that he's a gangster = I assure you that he is a gangster.
     
  7. dojibear

    dojibear Senior Member

    Fresno CA
    English - Northeast US
    She says "I have his word", which probably means "he gave me his word". So I think srk is correct.
     
  8. kentix

    kentix Senior Member

    English - U.S.
    In theory, he should know his daughter better than anyone else does, and he assured Miss Trunchbull that he knew that his daughter was a gangster. She believed him because he should know the most about her. My guess is, in reality, he should but he doesn't. But Miss Trunchbull doesn't know that.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019 at 4:37 AM
  9. Jardino

    Jardino Senior Member

    Korean
    Thank you very much.
     
  10. Jardino

    Jardino Senior Member

    Korean
    srk , Can I ask you one more thing?
    I have her father's word for it that the child is a gangster! => in this sentence , Does 'it' indicate 'what Matilda looks' like and 'that clause' modify 'word'(promise) ?
     
  11. srk Senior Member

    South Bend, Indiana
    English - US
    Suppose I say "Jardino, the child is a gangster." Because I want you to take what I say seriously, I add "You can take my word for it." Here "it" is the claim I just finished making -- that the child is a gangster. I could also say "You can take my word for it that the child is a gangster. This says the same thing with the same "it." "You can take my word for it" has been moved up front, and what "it" stands for is what follows right after.

    That's the form of the sentence you are asking about: "I have his father's word for it that the child is a gangster." "It" stands for the claim that the child is a gangster.
     
  12. Jardino

    Jardino Senior Member

    Korean
    Thank you:thumbsup:
     
  13. kentix

    kentix Senior Member

    English - U.S.
    I have her father's word for it that the child is a gangster!

    You don't actually need those two words.

    I have her father's word that the child is a gangster!

    For me I would say it stands for (in this context) is "what the child is like".

    I have her father's word (that what the child is like is) that the child is a gangster!

    In "for it", "it" describes the whole situation, the question of what the child is like. "This is how you should think of the whole situation - the child is a gangster."

    It doesn't describe her appearance. It describes her personality and behavior.
     

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