Testify & Witness ??

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Senior Member
The second I saw him cross into my lane (I had a green light and was going the speed limit) I swerved & braked, but it was too late. He almost hit a bunch of other people going through the light also, and more than 4 people turned their cars around to yell at the guy….two of them stayed to testify for me.

Can I use the word " witness" in the place of the above word?

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  • Franco-filly

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    To me "to witness for me" would mean that they stayed to observe the accident on your behalf. You could, however, say "to bear witness for me" or "to act as witnesses for me"


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    As a verb, witness means to see something. Testify means to tell a court what you witnessed. In this case, the people already witnessed what happened (they saw it). They stayed around in case it would be necessary to testify about it later. The two words are not interchangeable.

    It's confusing that the word witness is also a noun: a person who sees something and then testifies to it in court. However, as verbs, the difference is clear.
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