expressions · idiom

10 Idioms with Hold

You might want to know these idioms and phrasal verbs with hold.

A phrasal verb is a verb that changes meaning when it uses a different preposition.

Hold on means something else than hold up.

First of all, do you know what hold means on its own, without any addings?

Hold can mean several things, for example have something in your hands: I’m holding my pen.

Or hold can mean stop.

If the project is on hold, it means the work stops. If an item in a shop is on hold it means it’s stopped selling.

Okay, so now that we know what hold means, we can go on to the expressions with hold.

10 Common Expressions with Hold

Do you know these ones?

  1. Hold ___________ – to present (as an example)

Choose the right answer:

A up

B over

C in

D against

Hold 1

The correct answer is: up.

Note: Hold up can mean some other things as well.

Here are some examples of how you can use hold up:

Jamie is frequently held up as a model student, but I know he cheats.

The teacher was holding up a student essay as an example for the students to follow.

2) Hold a ___________ – be angry or annoyed at someone for something bad they did in the past

Choose the right answer:

A fork

B grudge

C cow

D against

hold 2

The correct answer is: grudge.

Here are some examples of how you can use hold a grudge:

I don’t know why Felicity is holding a grudge against me. I’ve done nothing wrong to her.

My neighbour has held a grudge against me since I accidentally opened his letter.

3) Hold the ___________ – control

Choose the right answer:

A mood

B championship

C hood

D reins

Hold 3

The correct answer is: reins.

(Reins are the straps that you use to ride a horse.)

Here are some examples of how you can use hold the reins:

Smith Jr has taken over the management of the company, but his dad is still firmly holding the reins.

The classroom looks like it’s in total disorder. Is Ms Abramson still holding the reins there?

4) Hold ___________ – make sense

Choose the right answer:

A up

B water

C down

D beer

Hold 4 (1)The correct answer is: water.

Here are some examples of how you can use hold water:

Her explanation doesn’t hold water. We should review the details.

The government’s plan to reduce pollution doesn’t hold water since some calculations are unrealistic.

5) Hold your ___________ – manage a difficult situation

Choose the right answer:

A ears

B hands

C self

D own

hold 5

The correct answer is: own.

Here are some examples of how you can use hold your own:

She was bombarded with difficult questions, but she held her own.

I admired how you held your own during that meeting.

6) Hold ___________ – keep at a distance

Choose the right answer:

A off

B on

C from

D in

hold 6

The correct answer is: off.

Note: Hold off can also mean delay.

Here are some examples of how you can use hold off:

He held off the dogs by throwing a bone to them.

What excuse can we use to hold the tax authorities off?

7) Hold ___________ – talk a lot

Choose the right answer:

A long

B chat

C forth

D your eyes

hold 7

The correct answer is: forth.

Here are some examples of how you can use hold forth:

We got a bit bored while the lecturer held forth about the good points of the Black Prince.

Standing around the grave took an awfully long time while the parson held forth.

8) Hold the ___________ – wait for the telephone conversation to continue

Choose the right answer:

A phone

B line

C lips

D operator

hold 8

The correct answer is: line.

Here are some examples of how you can use hold the line:

“Please hold the line,” said the receptionist, while he transferred me to the Sales Manager.

The hotel clerk asked me to hold the line while he checked which nights were free.

9) Hold ___________ – do and succeed in a job

Choose the right answer:

A up

B down

C in

D on

hold 9

The correct answer is: down.

Here are some examples of how you can use hold down:

She held down two jobs as she put her two children through college.

Will he be able to hold down the job when he has no previous experience?

10) Hold a ___________ to – be better than

Choose the right answer:

A candle

B kiss

C pencil

D hairline

hold 10

The correct answer is: candle.

Here are some examples of how you can use hold a candle to:

She doesn’t hold a candle to Mr Brown, who was such a great communicator.

Can the director’s new movie hold a candle to his Oscar-winning debut?

Want to do more quizzes about idioms? Have a look here.

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