Grammar: Daresay or Dare Say?

English Grammar Daresay

Daresay—is it one word or two?

Here’s a crazy little thing that you might not know: it’s one word. Yes, that’s right. It’s one of those words you don’t hear all that often anymore, but it’s a lot of fun. I always picture myself saying it with a very proper British accent, and it makes me smile. But because it’s not used a lot, you may not have seen it in print and might not realize that it’s actually one word.

Here’s a snippet from Merriam-Webster’s free dictionary:


transitive verb
: venture to say : think probable—used in pres. 1st singular
intransitive verb
: agree,suppose—used in pres. 1st singular

Origin of DARESAY

Middle English (I) dar sayen I venture to say
First Known Use: 13th century (transitive sense)


And here are some examples of daresay from books:

“I daresay you haven't had much practice. When I was your age I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes, I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There

“Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

“I daresay one profits more by the mistakes one makes off one’s own bat than by doing the right thing on somebody’s else advice.”

William Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage

I daresay it’s a fun little bit of trivia for the morning. 🙂

Photo by PNG Design on Unsplash

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