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  1. #1
    Idiomaticus is offline Junior Member
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    To grab or to take, that is the question

    Hello again. Instead of he took the book, I said he grabbed the book. Is this wrong and silly? He is in the library, where he finds a book he eagerly wants to read, and then he grabs it. But is it stupid to grab a book, particularly if you are not in a hurry, since you can just take it? Even if you are a bodybuilder and have strong hands, even then, is it unusual that you grab the book from the shelf? Can I use grab instead of take, regarding the above situation? Hm..

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    mykwyner is offline Key Member
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    Re: To grab or to take, that is the question

    Grab means "to take with a sudden motion." Grab also has meanings with connotations of unscrupulousness or force.

  3. #3
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    curmudgeon is offline Key Member
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    Re: To grab or to take, that is the question

    Quote Originally Posted by Idiomaticus View Post
    Hello again. Instead of he took the book, I said he grabbed the book. Is this wrong and silly? He is in the library, where he finds a book he eagerly wants to read, and then he grabs it. But is it stupid to grab a book, particularly if you are not in a hurry, since you can just take it? Even if you are a bodybuilder and have strong hands, even then, is it unusual that you grab the book from the shelf? Can I use grab instead of take, regarding the above situation? Hm..

    Yes, grab here means to take the book quickly, before someone else.

    You can grab your chance, meaning take the opportunity when it presents as it may disappear

  4. #4
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Re: To grab or to take, that is the question

    It's perfectly idomatic to use grab in such a situation. It shows strong interest in getting something you want, even if there is no actual competition.

  5. #5
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    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Post Re: To grab or to take, that is the question

    The word "grabbed" suggests a sudden, perhaps violent motion. Thus, took is better in the given context.

    ~R

  6. #6
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Re: To grab or to take, that is the question

    Results 1 - 10 of about 24,600 English pages for "grabbed the book".

    In the first 10 hits there are a number of examples that illustrate this figurative, eager meaning of 'grab'.

    "Always having been a long-time fan, I grabbed the book and read it in 2 days."

    "He grabbed the book before I could and would not part with it until he finished."

  7. #7
    Harry Smith's Avatar
    Harry Smith is offline Key Member
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    Re: To grab or to take, that is the question

    Quote Originally Posted by Idiomaticus View Post
    Hello again. Instead of he took the book, I said he grabbed the book. Is this wrong and silly? He is in the library, where he finds a book he eagerly wants to read, and then he grabs it. But is it stupid to grab a book, particularly if you are not in a hurry, since you can just take it? Even if you are a bodybuilder and have strong hands, even then, is it unusual that you grab the book from the shelf? Can I use grab instead of take, regarding the above situation? Hm..
    Both are acceptable. It depends on how you take the book. If you take the book very quickly being afraid that smb will take it before you "grab" is just the suitable word.

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