I want to write "My whole life, I have been audience to a..." Does that make sense? Should I instead write "been the audience to..." or "been an audience to..." Am I using this correctly? Thank you. People commonly say "given audience to" so I feel like it should work.

  • What idea are you trying to convey?
    – user 66974
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 7:46
  • I think “give audience to” is a formal expression.
    – user 66974
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 7:53
  • 1
    Give audience to refers to a distinguished person granting an interview, not the audience at a theatre or concert. Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 8:56
  • I think the most idiomatic would be have been audience to. Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 11:41
  • Since an audience is multiple people, I'm not clear how you could be an audience on your own. Do you mean be part of the audience, or be the entire audience, or an audience of one?
    – Stuart F
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 13:16

1 Answer 1


Using "been witness to" is closer to what you want to say. You can also say "I have had to witness" or "I have had to watch/listent to/put up with/suffer..."

  • You can witness anything. "Chorus" does not necessarily mean a choir, just broad and vocal agreement. I don't think it needs all other vocabulary to conform to concert hall terminology.
    – dubious
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 9:15
  • Yes. 'Be witness to ...' is an idiomatic verbo-nominal expression whereas 'be audience to ...' is not (though the rare example can be found: Google ngrams). Here, 'witness', 'audience' are not count usages. Commented Jan 8, 2022 at 11:12

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