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  1. VIP Member
    Student or Learner
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      • Native Language:
      • Bulgarian
      • Home Country:
      • Bulgaria
      • Current Location:
      • Bulgaria

    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 4,996
    #1

    to have a way with one = to have a way of approach to somebody

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am right with my interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentence?

    Oh, yes. I know he’s thrilling and exciting and marvelous to look at, and has a way with him that would charm a duck off a pond.

    to have a way with one = to have a way of approach to somebody

    Regards,

    V.

  2. Newbie
    English Teacher
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      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Jun 2006
    • Posts: 9
    #2

    Re: to have a way with one = to have a way of approach to somebody

    has a way with sb=knows how to deal with sb


    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 167
    #3

    Re: to have a way with one = to have a way of approach to somebody

    Yes, it should be "about" when it's reflexive: he has a way about him ("he" and "him" refer to the same person.) This means the person is charming or alluring. However, you can also say that someone has a way with something, to mean that person is skilled. "You have a way with words" means you are a good writer or speaker; you are good at choosing the right words. "She has a way with children" means she is very good with children; they naturally seem to like her.

    I'm always hesitant to bring up the almost-identical idiom with a sexual connotation lurking in the bushes, but I wouldn't want to be caught making this mistake, so...

    (Person) has a way about (same person), and (person) has a way with (thing) are NOT to be confused with (person) had his/her (same person's) way with (someone else), for example, "he had his way with her." In this last example, he raped her. Be careful with these expressions!

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