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General Writing and Grammar Help/Use something for one's advantage


Dear Ted:

Does "to use something for one's advantage" exist?

If so, when is it used?

Would you please give me some examples?

Again, thank you very much for your help.


Dear Paolo:

Does "to use something for one's advantage" exist?

If so, when is it used?

*** It exists.  It means that you know something or have something that will give you an "edge" over another person.  A related phrase is "have the upper hand."  Another phrase, which originally applied to gambling," is now widely used for any kind of situation:  Have an ace up one's sleeve.


In Shakespeare's "Othello," Iago uses Desdemona's handkerchief for his own advantage.

I know and can prove that John cheated on the exam; I intend to use this knowledge to my advantage.  [I can blackmail John with the knowledge I have.]

The coach was well aware of Rachel's powerful swimming strokes.  He used her skill for the team's advantage, having her anchor the relay race.


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Ted Nesbitt


I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.


I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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