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      • Native Language:
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    #1

    have something to somebody

    Could you please help me understand the meaning of sentences having such a syntax? For example, "They have the house to themselves".
    I can't understand what it means!
    Thank you so much!

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: have something to somebody

    That is an idiomatic phrase and it means that they are alone in the house.

    We have the place to ourselves = no one else is here.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

    • Member Info
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    #3

    Re: have something to somebody

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    That is an idiomatic phrase and it means that they are alone in the house.

    We have the place to ourselves = no one else is here.
    So does it mean we can't make a sentense like "I have the house to you"? Or it makes another sense?
    Thank you so much!

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: have something to somebody

    No, it doesn't work that way.

    I can have something to myself.
    We can have something to ourselves.
    You can have something to yourself.

    It has to be reflexive.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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