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"Hold On" and Don't Fall Off!

Posted by Lindsay McMahon on Wed, Jun 05, 2013 @ 09:23 AM

hold on cowboyWe use the phrasal verb "hold on" all of the time in American English.

What does it mean? It has a few different meanings.

Here is a sample sentence:


This cowboy is trying hard to hold on!


If he doesn't hold on he will get thrown off.




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Two Ways to Use "Hold On"


Meaning #1)


hold on we are going fast, mom and sonDefinition: To maintain something in your grasp, to stabilize your body by grasping onto an object such as a rail.


Sample sentences: 

"Hold on! This ride is going fast!"

"When I take the train in the morning I have to hold on so that I don't get pushed."





Meaning #2)


hold on man sipping mate

Definition: To wait when asked to do so, (usually used on the phone when someone connects you to the person you are calling for)


Sample dialogue:

A: Hello this is Brown Industries...

B: Hi, I am calling Mr. Martin. Is he available?

A: I believe he is available at the moment. Would you please hold on and I will get him on the line?

B: Wonderful, thank you.


Hang on= same meaning, more casual

hang on phrasal verb American EnglishThe phrasal verb "hang on" means the same thing as "hold on," but it is more casual.

If someone calls your home and asks for your friend, you might say, "Sure, hang on, let me get him."

In this picture, the girl is hanging on because she doesn't want to fall off!






Remember, "hold on" can be used in any situation where you want tell someone to wait or to take hold of an object for stability and "hang on" can be used in the same situations, but when you want to say something a little more casual.

Try to use these phrasal verbs the next time you are in the right situation! Good luck!




learn English phrasal verbs the fun way




Photo credit: SashaW, Vince Alongi, GoldringErik Charlton

Topics: Phrasal Verbs

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