Clutch / Clutch at

< Previous | Next >


Senior Member
Korean, South Korea.
1. He gasped and clutched his stomach.
2. Fear clutched at her heart.


I found the above examples in the usage of the verb "Clutch" in my dictionary. And I often notice usage for some verbs like that,which are grammartically applicable with or without prepositions, are laid out according to the writer's desire. That is to say, sometimes being simply "clutch" in exmaple 1, and also "clutch at" 2.

I want to know for sure that if it entirely is up to our desire to make it a phrasal verb or just a verb like in the quote.

Please let me know what your opinion on this one is.

  • Joelline

    Senior Member
    American English
    No, it has nothing to do with "our desire." The verb "to clutch" can be used transitively, meaning to seize, clasp, or gripe with the hand, hands, or claws. But the verb can also be use intransitively, meaing to reach (at something) as if to grasp; to catch or snatch. When "to clutch" is used intransitively, it is often followed by "at."
    < Previous | Next >