you have to hand it to someone

have (got) to hand it to (someone)

To give, or feel obliged to give, credit or recognition to someone for something they have done. I've got to hand it to you, the company has really turned a corner since you started managing the accounts. Still, you have to hand it to Jenny—she sure knows how to throw a party.
See also: hand, have

you have to hand it to someone

or

I have to hand it to someone

INFORMAL
People say You have to hand it to someone or I have to hand it to someone to show that they admire that person for something they have done. You have to hand it to Hemp, I suppose, for instinctively knowing what to do. I have to hand it to you. You came pretty close to getting away. Note: In British English, you can also say you've got to hand it to someone. You've got to hand it to Melissa, she certainly gets around.
See also: hand, have, someone
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