Too much time on my hands

JaviCauca

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?

Thanks.
 
  • 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.
     
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