The verb “have” (to possess, own or hold) is a major verb in the English language, one that is straightforward enough to use. Add to it another element, such as an adverb or a preposition, and the new compound verb takes on an entirely new meaning. Continuing our series on compounds, here are a few examples that start with the letters H, I, J and K.
To invite to one’s home
Example: We had the Trumps over for drinks, but we never talked about politics.
To attempt or attack forcefully
Example: They jumped in the pool and had at it with the swim floats.
To start doing
Example: Look at that beautiful cake. Let’s have at it!
To move in a direction
Example: Spectators headed for the exits when the score reached 50-0.
To move inevitably towards
Example: The boy is heading for stardom with such masterful violin performances.
To start or leave
Example: Mountain climbers head off before sunrise to reach the summit.
To intercept or divert; to prevent or forestall
Example: By taking the safe route, we may be able to head off disaster.
To know about
Example: I never heard of that before.
hit it off
To become friends
Example: We hit it off from the beginning.
hold down (something)
To keep under control or severely limit
Example: The government held down prices so consumers would purchase more goods.
To fulfil the duties of
Example: He held down two jobs despite training four times a week for the marathon.
To make someone maintain a commitment
Example: The citizens want to hold the leaders to their promise of lowering taxes.
To add to
Example: The town board injected cautionary views into the discussion about the waterfront.
Example: We’ll need to iron out the issues before the session begins.
To really want/desire
Example: Fashionistas are itching for a new look in outerwear this fall.
To increase or raise
Example: Stores are jacking up prices in anticipation of an influx of tourists.
To behave stupidly
Example: They were jerking around and not being serious about the new rules.
To make more exciting or powerful
Example: Mechanics love to juice up their cars before entering the competition.
To move or progress at the same rate
Example: They’ll need to keep up with the latest technology.
To discuss or consider
Example: They’ve been kicking around that idea for years.
To treat unfairly
Example: Not even the mayor wants to be kicked around any more about the traffic problems.
To be in a place without definite plans
Example: They kicked around the city for over a week before heading for the mountains.
To take effect or become operative
Example: The medicine kicked in after 30 minutes.
To gulp or take an alcoholic drink
Example: She knocked back the gin as if it were water.
To render unconscious
Example: He didn’t mean to knock her out with his elbow.
Example: The team was knocked out of the competition in the first round.