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Collocations and Idioms with SAY

Collocations and idioms of SAY with examples

Collocations are a pair or group of words that are habitually juxtaposed. Idioms are a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words.


Collocations and idioms with say


List of common collocations and idioms with "say" with example sentences. Sentences can be formed "as a verb and noun" or used as "idioms". Here are some: 


1. Say a word: Literally, it is said when you tell someone to say something.

  • He'd never say a word to me.

2. Say for certian/sure: Literally, it is said when you are sure of something. 

  • I cannot say for sure what will happen.

3. Say goodbye: Literally, it is said when you say goodbye.

  • I just have to say goodbye to Sara.

4. Say hello: Literally, it is said when greeting. 

  • We came to say hello as we were passing through.

5. Say no more: Literally, it is said when you stop talking.

  • I will say no more on these matters, important though they are. 

6. Say nothing: Literally, it is said when not talking about something in particular.  

  • I will say nothing about you.

7. Say something: Literally, it is said when talking about a specific thing.

  • Let me say something before we go.

8. Say sorry: Literally, it is said when you are sorry for someone. 

  • Why should I say sorry when it's not my fault?

9. Say (something) against (some or something): To make some verbal complaint or criticism regarding someone or something.

  • I'm not saying anything against the quality of your work, it's just that it doesn't really follow the directions we gave you.

10. Say a few words: To give a short speech or present a brief account of something. 

  • I've asked Ms. Thompson to say a few words before the assembly begins.

11. Say (something) about (someone or something):

A: To make some verbal comment regarding someone or something. 

  • Sarah's mother said some mean things about her new boyfriend after they left.

B: To reveal, demonstrate, or indicate some trait or aspect of someone or something.

  • The fact that they could have such a popular product and still manage to lose money says a lot about their competence as a company.

12. Say boo: To say nothing at all. 

  • No one said boo when I asked for dinner suggestions, so I don't want to hear any complaints about what I made.

13. Say (something) for (someone or something): To say something in support, defense, or aid of someone or something.

  • What does it say for your company that you unwittingly hired a convicted felon to manage your accounts?

14. Say it ain't so: Used to express one's disbelief, disappointment, or grief upon learning some unfortunate truth about someone or something.

  • A: You do realize that all the clothes in this store are made by children in sweatshops in third-world countries, right?
  • B: Say it ain't so! But they offer such good prices, how are we supposed to resist that?

15. Say (something) over (and over again): To repeat something, maybe several times. 

  • I have said it over and over again! Why don't you listen?

16. Say (something) behind (one's) back: To discuss, gossip, or remark upon someone when they aren't present or listening, especially when saying something negative. 

  • She so arrogant; if only she knew what people said behind her back.

17. Say again: Literally, it is said to speak again. 

  • Sorry, Khalifa, say again? I'm getting bad reception here.

18. Say cheese: Said by a photographer to encourage the subject to smile.

  • Ok, everyone, look at the camera and say cheese!

19. Says who?: On whose authority? According to whom? Used to express disagreement with or defiance against something that someone has just said. 

  • A: There's no way a pipsqueak like you can win this race!
  • B: Oh yeah? Says who?

20. Says you!: That's only your opinion (and you're wrong)! Used to express disagreement with or defiance against some general statement someone has just said. 

  • A: There's no way we'll be able to sell all of these chocolate bars.
  • B: Says you! I'm already about halfway through my stock.

21. Says it all: A phrase used to emphasize a particular detail, usually because it is evidence of a bigger issue. 

  • When I asked my mom if she was mad at me, her silence said it all.

22. Say a mouthful:

A: To speak at length or voluminously (about something).

  • I always say a mouthful when this topic comes up, so tell me to stop if I start rambling.

B: To say something that is particularly poignant, pertinent, or revealing.

  • The executive said a mouthful when he admitted that the company hadn't done enough to protect customers' privacy.

23. Say uncle: To admit defeat or plead for mercy, especially in an informal physical contest of some kind. Can also be used as an imperative phrase to demand that someone give up or admit defeat. 

  • The brothers often play fought, but it was invariably the younger of the two who had to say uncle by the end.


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