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Question
Dear Ted:

Is it "to HAVE a hold on someone" or "to GET a hold on someone"?

If both are possible, do they have the same meaning?

If not, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

Many, many thanks for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Is it "to HAVE a hold on someone" or "to GET a hold on someone"?

If both are possible, do they have the same meaning?

If not, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

*** They are similar in meaning, but they are used in different situations.

EXAMPLES:  She is so beautiful, I think she has a hold on me.  [under her control]

The library has a hold on Jim, because of the huge amount of fines he owes.  [the library is controlling Jim's borrowing activities]

Have you placed a hold on the seminar room?  If you did not, we might not have a place to meet.

Jane has been trying to get hold of her mother for several hours.  [trying to contact]

Justin got a strong hold on his wrestling opponent.  The other wrestler was not able to break Justin's hold.

When I get a hold on the entire problem, I'll let you know, and maybe the two of us can solve it.

*** Paulo, it is more common to get a hold OF another person, rather than get a hold ON that person. When you are holding on, it suggests that you have your hands around them.

The policeman got a hold on the criminal and and prevented the man from escaping.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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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.

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

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

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