Too much time on my hands


Senior Member
Spain (Canary Islands)- Spanish
Hello fellow travelers,

I just came across this sentence while preparing for a test and got it wrong. I thought it would be correct to say "in my hands".

I know we say things like being "on a plane" or "on a bus" and I'm sure it's been asked many times. Can someone please explain though why the correct expression is having too much time on one's hand, rather than in one's hand?

  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "On my hands" with this meaning is a fixed idiom; that's just how it is. When we use the words literally we use "in" or "on" as appropriate: I'm holding a cup of water in my hands / I have bloodstains on my hands.
    < Previous | Next >