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    • Join Date: Jan 2007
    • Posts: 1,740

    to be had

    The Mother : What could he have done, poor boy?
    The Daughter : Other people got cabs. Why couldn't he?
    (Freddy rushes in out of the rain from one side and comes between them closing a dripping umbrella. He is a young man of twenty in evening dress, very wet round the ankles.)
    The Daughter : Well, haven't you got a cab?
    Freddy : There's not one to be had for love or money.
    The Mother : Oh, Freddy, there must be one. You can't have tried.
    The Daughter : It's too tiresome. Do you expect us to go and get one ourselves?
    Freddy : I tell you they're all engaged. The rain was so sudden : nobody was prepared; and everybody had to take a cab. I've been to Charing Cross one way and nearly to Ludgate Circus the other; and they were all engaged.
    The Mother : Did you try Trafalgar Square?

    If it were, `There's not one cab for love or money', I could understand. But the use of `not to be had' confused me in understanding the exact meaning of the sentence.
    Could you explain, why the `to be had' has been used?

  1. engee30's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Apr 2006
    • Posts: 2,969

    Thumbs up Re: to be had

    There's not one to be had... means There's not one (= a single cab) to get/catch

    Bear in mind I'm not a teacher!

  2. RonBee's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
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      • United States
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      • United States

    • Join Date: Feb 2003
    • Posts: 16,551

    Re: to be had

    "There's not one to be had for love or money" expresses impossiblity.

    (Did the context not offer any clues as to meaning?)



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