"Get a Hold of" or just "Get hold of"

Discussion in 'English Only' started by manuelita4, Mar 24, 2006.

  1. manuelita4 New Member

    a) I haven't get a hold of Eric yet

    b) I haven't get hold of Eric yet

    Is it the same to use both forms or one of them is more proper than the other?

    Thanks in advance for your comments.
  2. T.D-K Senior Member

    Cymraeg Cymru
    I would say

    "I haven't got hold of Eric yet"
  3. fenixpollo

    fenixpollo moderator

    American English
    Neither of these is "proper" English. Both are acceptable. I prefer (a). Some native speakers will even say (not write) "I haven't gotten a hold of Eric yet."

  4. river Senior Member

    U.S. English
    In AE "get a hold of" is used when you're trying to get in touch with someone: I can't get a hold of the doctor. I tried to get a hold of you all afternoon. You also hear "Get a hold of yourself" meaning "pull yourself together." So A or B would work here. This is informal English of course.
  5. maxiogee Banned

    I would use "get a hold of" when I want someone physically present. I would use "get hold of" when the telephone would do.
  6. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    I would always say "I haven't gotten a hold of Eric yet."
  7. cirrus

    cirrus Senior Member

    Crug Hywel
    UK English
    It seems this is another AE/ BE difference. General usage here is along the lines Maxiogee presents above. I would use get a hold if I was climbing. If it was about getting in touch with someone eg for a meeting or on the phone, I would say getting hold of someone with no a before the hold.

    I am leaving to one side the got/ gotten question which I am sure have been dealt with in great detail elsewhere on WR.
  8. JazzyPaws New Member

    It is "get ahold of." But American English shortens "ahold" to "hold." Hence, it is either "get ahold of" or "get hold of," but not "get a hold of."
  9. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    I don't think so. See below.

    I speak AE, and I completely agree. To "get a hold" of a person seems to me something one would do in a wrestling match.
  10. Cagey post mod (English Only / Latin)

    English - US
    Here is a discussion of "ahold" in which it is identified as dialectical and informal in AE.Ahold is not a word you will see in formal writing. Many dictionaries do not list it, including ours.

    Also, I agree with Parla: I would not use "get a hold of" to talk about reaching someone by phone.

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