(someone) doesn't have (something) on (them)

When you say that you "don't have ___ on me", it means that you don't have it right then:

A: Can I borrow a pen?

B: Sorry, I don't have one on me.

This phrase is useful because just saying "I don't have ___" can have two different meanings:

  • you don't have it now
  • you don't own it at all

You use "I don't have one on me" when people ask you for things like:

  • business cards
  • cigarettes
  • a pen

You can also say "I don't have one with me", but "on me" is usually better if the object is small and can fit in your pocket or purse.

This phrase appears in these lessons: