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  1. Member
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    #1

    How did you get your hands on it?

    According to a dictionary 'get your hands on something' means to manage to obtain something.
    The ps5 isn't out yet and a guy online said that he had it. I replied:

    "How did you manage to get your hands on it! It's not out yet."

    My question is why not just say 'buy' instead? Something tells me that it's only used when the object you're talking about it hard to find.
    Please let me know if I'm right.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: How did you get your hands on it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashraful Haque View Post
    According to a dictionary (Which dictionary? Please provide a link or a screenshot.) 'get your hands on something' means to manage to obtain something.
    The PS5 isn't out yet and a guy online said that he had it. I replied:

    "How did you manage to get your hands on it? It's not out yet."

    My question is why not just say 'buy' instead? Something tells me that it's only used when the object you're talking about it hard to find.
    Please let me know if I'm right.
    You're right that it tends to be used for things that are relatively difficult to obtain. I find it odd that you're asking us why you used "manage to get your hands on it" instead of "manage to buy it". Don't you know why you said it?
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: How did you get your hands on it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashraful Haque View Post
    According to a dictionary 'get your hands on something' means to manage to obtain something.
    The ps5 isn't out yet and a guy online said that he had it. I replied:

    "How did you manage to get your hands on it! It's not out yet."

    My question is why not just say 'buy' instead? Something tells me that it's only used when the object you're talking about it hard to find.
    Please let me know if I'm right.
    You could have said, "How did you manage to buy it?" You'd get the same answer either way.

    But the way you phrased it is more emphatic and more conversational.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  4. VIP Member
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    #4

    Re: How did you get your hands on it?

    Maybe his uncle works in the factory and smuggled out a test model. You don't know that he bought it necessarily.

  5. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: How did you get your hands on it?

    Also:

    How did you manage to get one?
    Not a professional teacher

  6. Member
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    #6

    Re: How did you get your hands on it?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    Maybe his uncle works in the factory and smuggled out a test model. You don't know that he bought it necessarily.
    To me, as a native British English speaker, the expression does carry a suggestion that the item might not have been acquired legitimately.
    Retired magazine editor and native British English speaker - not a teacher

  7. Member
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    #7

    Cool Re: How did you get your hands on it?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    Maybe his uncle works in the factory and smuggled out a test model. You don't know that he bought it necessarily.
    If this is the case I think what I said was a better choice than 'buy' since it's open to more than one interpretation. Moreover, it makes the answer shorter since he won't get to say "No I didn't buy it" and instead tell me how he got it (whether he bought it or got it from his uncle).

  8. Member
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    #8

    Re: How did you get your hands on it?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    You're right that it tends to be used for things that are relatively difficult to obtain. I find it odd that you're asking us why you used "manage to get your hands on it" instead of "manage to buy it". Don't you know why you said it?
    You might find it odd as a native speaker and specially if you don't know any other language. But sometimes we non-native speaker pick up vocabulary/phrases/idioms subconsciously from movies/shows/native speakers around us. So even though I knew what I was saying but I wasn't 100% sure.

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