1

Which one is the correct form of the word "Word "in the sentence: word or words

Can I have a word with you?

or

Can I have words with you?

3

Both are fine, although they typically mean different things.

Can I have a word with you?

This means that you are asking to simply ask or tell somebody something.

Can I have words with you?

This is a common expression that implies you are angry with them. By having words, you will express your displeasure and, perhaps, indicate what they did wrong and what will happen now.


A famous line from the movie Robocop (YouTube clip) is:

"Come quietly or there will be . . . trouble."

This could be paraphrased as:

"Come quietly or we will have . . . words."


From Collins:

have words with [somebody]

If one person has words with another, or if two or more people have words, they have a serious discussion or argument, especially because one has complained about the other's behaviour.

We had words and she stormed out.
I shall have words with these stupid friends of mine!

0

"Can I have a word with you?" is the correct one when asking to speak to someone.

"Can I have words with you?" is wrong - it could even be interpreted as "Can I eat words with you?".

Hope this helped.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.