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Have the Upper Hand

Have the upper hand

When you have the upper hand, you are in a dominant position of power and have control over someone or something else. For example:

With no worthy rival, Luigi
had the upper hand coming into last month’s English Grammar Club’s presidential election.

Some headlines which demonstrate the use of the English idiom
to have the upper hand quite well are the following:

While Banks Have the Upper Hand, the Global Economic Crisis Will Continue
- alternet.org, 21 February 2012, William K. Tabb
Doctors have the upper hand in pension dispute
- guardian.co.uk, 24 May 2012, Edward Davie
Arsenal: Will Arsenal Have Upper Hand on Tottenham in 2013?
- bleacherreport.com, 7 January 2013, Hans Wetzel

Here is a question to test your knowledge of English idioms: If a person
has the upper hand, i.e. is in the power position, which of the following things can he or she do?

a) call the shots
b) count the shots
c) carry the shots
d) create the shots

Check your answer here.

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