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Your English: Word grammar: gut

Type: Article

We’ve got a gut feeling you’ll want to take a look at this Your English article.

Apart from its use as a noun with different meanings in the singular and plural, gut can also function as a verb. 

As a noun, it is used in the singular to refer to the intestine, as in ‘It takes several hours for food to pass through the gut’. It can also be used, a little impolitely, to refer to a person’s stomach, especially if it is a little fat, as in ‘He’s got quite a gut on him these days’. 

Usually used in the plural, it can refer to a feeling you have when you are certain you are right, even though you can give no good reason why, as in ‘I had a feeling in my guts that something bad was going to happen’. It can also be used with the same meaning in the phrase a gut feeling, as in ‘She had a gut feeling that there was something wrong’. 

If you bust a gut, you try extremely hard to achieve something, as in ‘I nearly bust a gut trying to meet the deadline for this job’. 

Used in the plural the word guts is the quality of being brave and determined, as in ‘Sometimes it takes guts to stand up in front of people and admit that you were wrong’. If you work or slog your guts out, you work extremely hard, as in ‘I slogged my guts out getting my university degree’. 

 The verb to gut can either refer to the process of removing the inner organs of a fish before you cook it, as in ‘Scale and gut the fish before grilling it’ or to the destruction of the inside of a building or vehicle by fire, as in ‘By the time the fire brigade arrived, the building was completely gutted’. Used in the past tense form only, the verb gutted refers to the feeling of disappointment you feel when something goes badly that you expected to go right, as in, ’I wasn’t expecting my team to lose. I was absolutely gutted when I heard the final result.’ If something is extremely sad or upset can be described as gut-wrenching (or heart-wrenching).

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