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Your English: Idioms: has/have

Type: Article

Rumour has it that these idioms will help improve your English.

‘How much did you pay? £500! You’ve been had!’ Only used in the present perfect and mainly used in spoken discourse, the expression to have been had means that you have been tricked or cheated, especially by having to pay far too much money for something. 

Perhaps the person who sold the item mentioned above has got it coming, meaning that he or she fully deserves whatever bad happens to them subsequently, or they may have got it made in that they are now, through a stroke of good fortune, in a very good situation. 

If something has had it, it cannot be used any longer because it is in such bad condition, as in ‘I’m afraid your car engine’s just about had it’. If a person has had it, they are in serious trouble or they are about to fail, as in ‘If your parents find out what you’ve been up to, you’ve had it’ or ‘As soon as I saw the exam paper, I knew I’d had it’. 

If you have had it up to here with someone, you are fed up with them and extremely annoyed as a result, as in ‘I’ve had it up to here with Brian – he’s been moaning ever since we got to the airport’. 

The expression rumour has it is used to report something that you have heard but are not sure is true, as in ‘Rumour has it she’s emigrating to Australia’. 

Finally, most societies consist of the haves (people who have a lot of money and property) and the have-nots (people who don’t have much of either).


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