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take someone at his or her word

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Also, take someone's word for. Accept what someone says on trust, as in Since he said he'd agree to any of my ideas, I'll take him at his word, or She said she wanted to help out and I took her word for it. This idiom appeared in Miles Coverdale's translation of the Bible: “He said ... he is my brother. And the men took him shortly at his word” (I Kings 22:33). It is still so used. [1535]

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QUIZ YOURSELF ON "WAS" VS. "WERE"!

Were you ready for a quiz on this topic? Well, here it is! See how well you can differentiate between the uses of "was" vs. "were" in this quiz.
Question 1 of 7
“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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