get a hold of someone

vooli

New Member
hindi
Is that polite to say:I couldn't get a hold of her?
if not, what is the more polite or more formal way to say it?
 
  • Miss Julie

    Senior Member
    English-U.S.
    It is polite to say "I couldn't get ahold of her." (I believe "ahold" is one word here.)

    If you want to be more formal, you could say "I was unable to contact her."
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    ... (I believe "ahold" is one word here.) ...
    I agree, in this context: "to get ahold of" = "to contact."

    However, in a wrestling context with the preposition "on," it's two words: "I didn't pin him because he kept wriggling away. I couldn't get a hold on him."

    A wrestling context is, of course, much less common than the general context in which "ahold of" can be used.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    "Reach" works too.
    1. I could not get ahold of Marie by phone or by e-mail.
    2. I could not reach Marie by phone or by e-mail.
    "Reach" sounds less informal to me.
     
    Whether "hold", or "a hold", or "ahold", the expression strikes me as informal. If I wanted to say this more formally (such as in a governmental report), I would use "contact": We were unable to contact the owner of the stolen property because she is out of the country.
     

    Pertinax

    Senior Member
    BrE->AuE
    I would say "I can't get hold of her (on the phone)" (rather than "a hold" or "ahold"). I don't know if this is BrE or just me.

    Me too. I think that I have only heard "a-hold" in American films, in phrases like "Get a hold of yourself". I wonder if AmE preserves the original "a" which is disappearing from BrE. The OED lists "a-hold of" as a current term, but gives few recent examples.

    I wouldn't classify "get hold of" as particularly informal. The verb "contact" still makes me wince. Packard's "reach" is fine.
     

    redgiant

    Senior Member
    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    Supervisor: “Okay, ma’am… unfortunately, Merchandise doesn’t have any say in how Ride Operations works. What I can do is try to get a hold of the manager for the ride, and then we can work this out with the employee in question. Is that alright?”

    http://notalwaysright.com/page/2

    Background: A stupid mom stormed into the gift shop in the park and poured out her complaints about the height checker not allowing her kids onto the water ride. Apparently, her anger took over common sense. The gift shop's supervisor tried his best to help the mom, even though he had no say in how the water ride staff do their stuff.

    If you "get a hold of someone", do you only contact him by phone/email or other means. In the later part of the story, the supervisor "leaves to go find the ride’s manager." , which makes me think the contact is not necessary by phone when you "get a hold of someone".
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    There is nothing intrinsic in "get hold of" or "get ahold of" that defines what kind of communication or contact is intended.
    In the specific example, it is most likely to be by phone or by physically going to find the manager, but that is determined by the context, not by the words used.
     

    Gabriel Malheiros

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    <-----Threads have been merged at this point by moderator (Florentia52)----->

    Hi, there

    I would like to know the difference between reach someone and get a hold of someone. For example, If I can't contact my son, and I call my wife to ask her if she could contact him, should I say

    "Did you get a hold of him?"
    or
    "Did you reach him?"

    Can I use "reach him"/"get a hold of him"without reference to any phone?

    Thank you!!
     
    Last edited:
    I would say "I can't get hold of her (on the phone)" (rather than "a hold" or "ahold"). I don't know if this is BrE or just me.

    I would only use "hold" also.

    The others, "a hold" or "ahold" -- I've certainly heard them often enough, and I don't ever remember being taught they are incorrect, and most probably have never paid much attention upon hearing them to tell you the truth -- sound rather "folksy" to me in register now that the subject has come up in this thread.
     

    Gabriel Malheiros

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    I would only use "hold" also.

    The others, "a hold" or "ahold" -- I've certainly heard them often enough, and I don't ever remember being taught they are incorrect, and most probably have never paid much attention upon hearing them to tell you the truth -- sound rather "folksy" to me in register now that the subject has come up in this thread.
    Dale Texaa, and in the context I provided. Can you help me?
     
    <-----Threads have been merged at this point by moderator (Florentia52)----->

    Hi, there

    I would like to know the difference between reach someone and get a hold of someone. For example, If I can't contact my son, and I call my wife to ask her if she could contact him, should I say

    "Did you get a hold of him?"
    or
    "Did you reach him?"

    Can I use "reach him"/"get a hold of him"without reference to any phone? :thumbsup:

    Thank you!!

    Yes, see PJ's post 10. (And I've ready stated that I would use "get hold of" but this thread makes clear that other native speakers have differing opinions.)
    .
     
    Top