Expression: 'have it both ways'

English Idioms and Expressions, Intermediate level

ESL/EFL Test #16 [color=blue]“Way Idioms”, question 8

You’ll just have to make a decision. You can’t have it both ways.

(a) benefit by cancelling two vertical views
(b) benefit by agreeing to two opposite views
© benefit by agreeing to two similar views
(d) benefit by agreeing to two average views

English Idioms and Expressions, Intermediate level

ESL/EFL Test #16 [color=blue]“Way Idioms”, answer 8

You’ll just have to make a decision. You can’t benefit by agreeing to two opposite views.

Correct answer: (b) benefit by agreeing to two opposite views

Your answer was: [color=green]correct
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Is it necessarily two opposite views? If two parallel views or any views as long as they are different also fit into the situation, © or even (d) could be possible, awkward though. Can I see it like this?

haihao

Haihao

I am not sure what vertical views, average views and parallel views are, so I can’t help you there but the correct answer is “…opposite views”.
The idiom, having it both ways, requires a situation of opposite, contrary or at least conflicting views, actions, results, etc.

You cannot have both sides of those conflicting pairs. The two sides don’t have to be exactly opposite but they do have to be different enough to be incompatible or in conflict. Choices c) and d) do not fit the idiom.

Hi Canadian45,

Thank you so much. I guess I’ve got hold of the point now. it really helps.

haihao