I heard this on a TV show and I've never really heard a sentence similar to it before. I'd appreciate it if you would help me out with the meaning of the sentence and its structure.

1 Answer 1


"Having the last word" means making the final statement in an argument between two people. Obviously every argument has to end, and so someone has to have the last word, but it can be difficult to let the other person have the last word, as it feels like the person who has the last word has "won".

If someone "has to have the last word", it means that they can't finish an argument by listening to the other person. A person who has to have the last word always has to "win", they can't compromise

"Its just like him" is a way of talking about a person's character by describing their typical behaviour:

He's really rude. It's just like him to leave the dinner table before others have finished eating.

He's so kind. It's just like him to help the old lady who lives next door.

So this is saying talking about his character by saying he usually has to have the last word in an argument. In other words, he is the sort of person that usually wins arguments. He must have a very forceful personality. But is unable to compromise or listen to other people's viewpoint. It means they are obstinate and can't back down, even when they are clearly wrong.

This is a negative thing to say about a person.

  • 1
    A great answer, but it might be even more helpful if you also explained the meaning(s) of "to have to." (Here it means the person insists on having the last word, but it can also mean "to need to," "to be required to," etc.) The fact that the quotation includes the seemingly odd phrase "to have to have" might be one source of the OP's confusion. Also, I don't quite agree that this necessarily means "he is the sort of person that usually wins [an] argument." Mightn't it just mean he's obstinate and can't back down even when he has clearly lost an argument?
    – Nanigashi
    Commented Jun 15, 2019 at 21:25

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .