I have just read an example:

Having nothing to do, he decided...

What meaning does HAVE in this case have? I mean, I get the meaning but it is not true possession. The same question would I ask here:

She has a lot of guys asking her phone number.

She does not own them, so what meaning would this be, ideally with a dictionary entry?

  • Surely you mean: nothing.
    – Lambie
    Feb 12, 2019 at 14:51

1 Answer 1


Take a look at https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/have

It includes that "have" can indicate a relationship between people, as well as to indicate possession in a non-ownership sense. Indeed, it can include possession of abstract things.

In this case, it is the negation of "having something to do". To have "something to do" means there is something one needs to do or something one can do, but one doesn't own any actual thing in that case.

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