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Thread: Clutch or Grasp

  1. #1
    thtm is offline Newbie
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    Default Clutch or Grasp

    I've got a multiple choice question:
    He managed to __________ the branch of a tree and avoid being swept away by the flood waters.
    A. grasp B. clutch C. hug D. munch
    The key is 'grasp' but plase tell me why 'clutch' isn't suitable here. I've looked them up in the OALD and still can't distinghuish between the two words.
    Thanks a lot
    Last edited by thtm; 02-Jul-2013 at 21:27.

  2. #2
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Clutch or Grasp

    Quote Originally Posted by thtm View Post
    I've got a multiple choice question:
    He managed to __________ the branch of a tree and avoid being swept away by the flood waters.
    A. grasp B. clutch C. hug D. munch
    The key is 'grasp' but plase tell me why 'clutch' isn't suitable here. I've looked them up in the OALD and still can't distinghuish between the two words.
    Thanks a lot
    It is difficult to mark either answer as incorrect. Webster's Third has "clutch" as a definition for "grasp", and vice versa.

  3. #3
    Gillnetter is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Clutch or Grasp

    Quote Originally Posted by thtm View Post
    I've got a multiple choice question:
    He managed to __________ the branch of a tree and avoid being swept away by the flood waters.
    A. grasp B. clutch C. hug D. munch
    The key is 'grasp' but plase tell me why 'clutch' isn't suitable here. I've looked them up in the OALD and still can't distinghuish between the two words.
    Thanks a lot
    The answer could be A, B, or C. One can "hug" a tree as well as grasp or clutch a tree. A better answer is, "He managed to hold onto the branch of a tree..."

  4. #4
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    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Clutch or Grasp

    To me, clutch implies strengthening your grip, while already holding an object, whereas grasp always means a reaching out to seize and gain a hold on an object.

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