As good as your word: Talking about trust and loyalty


by Liz Walter

This post looks at words and phrases connected with the question of trust. I’ll start with ways of talking about people you are certain will keep their promises. You can depend on, rely on or count on them to do what they say they will do:

I know I can depend on Patrick to keep the business running while I’m away.

If you stand for election, you can count on me to support you!

If you describe someone as a man/woman of his/her word, you mean that they always do what they say they will do. Similarly, if someone was as good as their word, they did what they promised to do:

You can trust Jane. She’s a woman of her word.

He promised to repay the money within a month, and he was as good as his word.

If you trust someone to do something, you believe in them or have confidence in them or their abilities. If you know they will carry out a task well, you might call them a safe pair of hands:

I don’t really have confidence in my doctor.

Let’s ask John to run the club. He’s a safe pair of hands.

If someone supports you in a difficult situation, you might say they stand by you. They might back you up by saying you are right, or speak up for you by saying things to support you:

He spent a year in prison, but his family stood by him.

I explained what had happened and Katie backed me up.

It was great to see a manager speaking up for the junior staff.

If someone shows unwavering support, they continue to support you strongly, even in difficult circumstances.  Saying that someone has supported you through thick and thin is a way to emphasize that they were loyal in bad times as well as good, and if someone leaps/jumps to your defence (UK)/ defense (US), they hurry to support you when you are being criticized:

I want to thank you all for your unwavering support at this difficult time.

The club’s manager thanked fans for sticking with them through thick and thin.

As soon as I questioned Mark’s proposal, Gemma leaped to his defence.

Slightly more informal ways of saying that someone supports you is to say that they are (always) there for you, or to call them your rock:

Rick was always there for me if I was having a bad time.

I can’t manage without my mum. She’s my rock.

If you found this post useful, do look out for the next one, which is on the opposite topic: distrust and disloyalty.

20 thoughts on “As good as your word: Talking about trust and loyalty

  1. Hoàng Minh Nguyễn

    When I was searching through the Internet for teaching material and luckily I came across this post. Thank you so much, Mrs. Liz 😀

  2. Simon Lalngaihzuala

    It’s very interesting and help me alot. I’m learning english and I think this will be very helpful for me and others .

  3. Really helpfuyl and informative.

    Similar to the phrasal verbs used in this article, there’s another resource – – which has a bunch of phrasal verb meanings matched with GIFs explaining the meaning.

    Wanted to let people know in case it helps with their learning or teaching!

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