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“Ahold” or “A hold”: Choosing the Proper Term

Choosing the right term can be confusing so you may easily end up using the wrong one. Although the difference between them is a single space, it can change the entire meaning of what you’re saying.

Milena Lazova
Milena Lazova

Is it “ahold” or “a hold”? Choosing the right term can be confusing so you may easily end up using the wrong one. Although the difference between them is a single space, it can change the entire meaning of what you’re saying.

Hence the need to learn how to use them correctly.

Ahold or A hold – How to Use the Right Term

A single space can make a lot of difference when it comes to “ahold” and “a hold”. So, to avoid making this “tiny” mistake that will make you look less smart and confuse the reader, you need to know the meaning and usage of each.

Ahold: Meaning, Usage, Examples

As an adverb, ahold modifies the verb in the sentence to imply contact, possession, or ownership. The most common meaning is to grab something or someone in a figurative or literal sense.

The word is usually a part of the American phrase “get ahold of” which is written differently in regions outside the US. You can often find it as “get hold of” or “get a hold of”.

Toby, can you get ahold of Michael and ask him why he is late?
My son likes to take ahold of my arm when he hears fireworks.

The word “ahold” is most commonly used in informal communication, so make sure you avoid it in formal writing.

A Hold: Meaning, Usage, Examples

Unlike “ahold”, “a hold” is not a single word but a noun phrase made up of the noun “hold” and the indefinite article “a.” It usually indicates the act of acquiring a grip on something.

Other meanings include having control over something or someone emotionally or mentally, a specific way of restraining a wrestling opponent, a place where climbers can grip with their hands during the climb, an order of reservation, etc.

I had a hold of the door handle the entire time she was driving.
Does this motel place a hold on the guest’s credit card?
Data thieves have a hold over their victims.

Ahold vs. A hold – Which One is Used More Often?

Actually, English native speakers prefer using a third term instead of “ahold” and “a hold”. It’s usually the phrase “get hold of” that replaces each of these terms.

But if you need to use “ahold” or “a hold” in certain situations, keep their meanings and usages in mind to choose the correct one.

Video Examples:

Get the Gringo (2012)
Definitely, Maybe (2008)
The Magic of Belle Isle (2012)
EnglishWhich is correct

Milena Lazova

I'm an ESL teacher with over 7 years of experience in providing original content. I really like writing educational articles which may help others learn some aspects of English.


Milena Lazova

I'm an ESL teacher with over 7 years of experience in providing original content. I really like writing educational articles which may help others learn some aspects of English.

Valentina Dordevic

Hello! My name is Valentina. Book digesting is my specialty. I transform book ideas into easy-to-follow summaries, articles, study guides, reviews, essays, analyses, slides, or e-books.

Beth Taylor

Hello! My name is Beth. I'm from France. I'm a French and English native speaker and I really like writing.