grammatical word: buy

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Today I have another verb for you that has an unexpected second meaning: “buy”. Of course, everyone knows the first meaning which is to purchase something with money. However, there is a second meaning which is also commonly used. This second meaning is to believe something that another person tells us. For example:

Janice told me she had to cancel our date last night because she was working, but I don’t buy it.

A: Did your father buy your story about coming out to study with your friend?

B: Yeah, he bought it. Now where do you want to go for our date?

Fred is really innocent and naive. He’ll buy anything anyone tells him.

When we use “buy” in the sense of believing someone, we never use a person as the object of the sentence. So, we would say, “My friend didn’t buy it.” (“it” means the story), but we DON’T say, “My friend didn’t buy him.” (“him” means the person who told the story). However, if we use the word “believe”, we could use either “it” or a person. For example:

I told my friend that my father is a famous actor, but she didn’t buy it.

I told my friend that my father is a famous actor, but she didn’t believe it.

I told my friend that my father is a famous actor, but she didn’t believe me.

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