Let Me Have It

A couple of minutes ago, a student asked me:

  • “Teacher, can I have a chair?”

Err…what? She wanted to borrow the visitor’s chair that was in front of me. I said “Yes, sure.”

Of course, I knew what she wanted, but it is inappropriate to substitute  “borrow” or “lend” with “have“.

Have” in the sentence that the student made means “eat“. 😀

Therefore, she’s actually saying:

  • “Teacher, can I eat a chair?” (X) instead of,
  • “Teacher, could I borrow a chair?”

Let’s see these examples:

  • “I’d like to have some rice today.”
  • “Can I have you for dinner today?” 😛

What do you think?

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Posted on March 4, 2010, in Word Power and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Oh oh very common we hear:
    1. “Can I have your ticket please?” while we go movies. (X){Eat by all mean please return the ticket butt to me}
    2. “Can I have your boarding pass please?” checking in airport.(X) {Do you need ketchup to go with the boarding pass}
    3. “Can I have your car keys?” car jockey.(X) {Please eat all you can, I have a spare key at home}.

    That means 1, 2, 3 are all wrong? It should be…????
    1A. Can you show me your ticket please?
    2A. Sir we need to check your boarding pass.
    3A. Can you please hand me your car key?
    tQ

    • 1. Tickets, please.
      2. Boarding pass, please.
      3. Could I borrow your keys?

      Yes, you’re right. Examples 1, 2 & 3 that you gave are commonly expressed; perhaps in a very informal way, you could use “have” in those contexts. However, the dictionary does not define the verb “have” as “to borrow” or “to lend”.

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