The following idioms and expressions use the verb 'have'. Each idiom or expression has a definition and two example sentences to help understanding of these common idiomatic expressions with 'have'. Once you have studied these expressions, test your knowledge with quiz testing idioms and expressions with have.
have a big mouth
Definition: somebody who tells secrets, who is a gossip
Don't talk to Mary she has a big mouth.
If you didn't have such a big mouth, I'd tell you my secrets.
have a bee in your bonnet
Definition: have an obsession, something that always remains in your thoughts and efforts
She has a bee in her bonnet that health care must change.
If I have a bee in my bonnet, I have to do everything I can until I can make it happen.
have a bone to pick with someone
Definition: have something (usually a complaint) that you want to discuss with someone
I have a bone to pick with you. Just a moment, let's talk.
Tom's looking for Pete because he's got a bone to pick with him.
have a brush with something
Definition: have brief contact, or experience with someone or something
I had a brief brush with Jack and I didn't like it.
He's had a brief brush with unemployment.
have a chip on your shoulder
Definition: be in a bad mood and challenging people to fight
Don't take him seriously, he just has a chip on his shoulder.
Yes, I have a chip on my shoulder! What are YOU going to do about it?!
have a close call
Definition: be close to danger
I had a close call yesterday and was almost in an accident.
She's had a few close calls in her life.
have a familiar ring
Definition: sound familiar, as if you've heard it before
That story has a familiar ring. Did we read that last year?
Her experiences have a familiar ring. I guess everybody goes through that.
have a good head on your shoulders
Definition: have common sense, be sensible
Jack has a good head on his shoulders. Don't worry about him.
I think you have a good head on your shoulders. You should trust your decision.
have a green thumb
Definition: be very good at gardening
Alice obviously has a green thumb. Look at that garden!
My wife has a green thumb, so I let her do all the gardening.
have a heart
Definition: be compassionate or generous and forgiving with somebody
Don't hold that against her. Have a heart!
I think he'll have a heart and forgive you.
have a heart of gold
Definition: be generous and sincere
Mary has a heart of gold. I just love her.
The teacher has a heart of gold with her students.
have a heart of stone
Definition: be cold and unresponsive, unforgiving
Don't make him angry. He has a heart of stone.
I can't believe how he treats his children. He's got a heart of stone.
have an ax to grind
Definition: complain about something often
He has an ax to grind against his health care provider.
I know you have an ax to grind against Agatha, but stop complaining!
have an in with someone
Definition: have special access to someone (often used at work)
She has an in with the boss. Let her ask him for permission.
I wish I had an in with the director so I could get a promotion.
have a one-track mind
Definition: always thinking about one thing
He has a one track mind. He can't talk about anything besides golf.
Do you have a one-track mind?
have a soft spot in your heart for someone or something
Definition: love or adore a thing or person
I've got a soft spot in my heart for Maria Callas.
He has a soft spot in his heart for pinball!
have a sweet tooth
Definition: like sweets too much
I know you have a sweet tooth, but you need to be careful.
I need to watch my weight, especially because I have a sweet tooth.
have clean hands
Definition: to without guilt, guiltless
Don't blame him, he has clean hands.
The man claimed to have clean hands in the crime.
have egg on one's face
Definition: be embarrassed after having done something very stupid
I had egg on my face after I asked that stupid question.
I don't think he realizes he has egg on his face.
have eyes in the back of your head
Definition: seem able to follow everything that is going on, even though you do not focus on it
She has eyes in the back of her head. Be careful!
The students believed their teacher had eyes in the back his head.
have mixed feelings
Definition: to be uncertain about something or someone
Janice has mixed feelings about Ken.
Brad has mixed feelings about buying a new car.
have money to burn
Definition: have an excess of money
Don't worry about it! She's got money to burn.
Do you think I have money to burn?! Of course, I can't buy you a diamond ring.
have your hands tied
Definition: be prevented from doing something
I'm afraid I have my hands tied and can't help you.
Peter told me he had his hands tied on the Franklin deal.
have your head in the clouds
Definition: to not pay attention to what is going on around you
Doug had his head in the clouds all the time he was at university.
Do you have you head in the clouds?! Pay attention!
have your tail between your leg
Definition: be afraid of something, not have courage to do something
He just couldn't approach her. He seemed to have his tail between his legs.
Janet went to her father with her tail between her legs and asked for forgiveness.
have other fish to fry
Definition: have more important things to do, have other opportunities
Look. I have other fish to fry, so just say yes or no.
Susan had other fish to fry and left her position at the bank.
have someone or something in your hands
Definition: have the responsibility for someone or something
I have the project in my hands. If you have any questions, come to me.
She had her boyfriend in her hands. She could do anything.
have the Midas touch
Definition: have the ability to easily be successful
He'll succeed. He's got the Midas touch.
Ask her to approach those difficult clients. She has the Midas touch.
have the presence of mind to do something
Definition: stay calm in a dangerous or frightening, or emergency situation
He had the presence of mind to cover her up before he went to find help.
Alice has the presence of mind to take along some extra food before setting out on the hike.
There are so many expressions with 'have' that make sure you take a look at the first page. Once you have studied these expressions, test your knowledge with quiz testing idioms and expressions with have. There are so many expressions with 'have' that make sure you take a look at the second page. Once you have studied these expressions, test your knowledge with quiz testing idioms and expressions with have.