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    #1

    harp on and hold forth

    - My grandpa always harps on/holds forth about the war he managed to live through.

    1) do these two phrasal verbs mean the same?
    2) Are they both possible when talking about someone who keeps on talking about something boring and annoying?

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    #2

    Re: harp on and hold forth

    any help?

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: harp on and hold forth

    You bumped your thread rather quickly, don't you think? Please remember we are all volunteers.

    When you harp on something, you are usually complaining. My mother is always harping on my sister about the way she wears her hair.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: harp on and hold forth

    If you "hold forth" it means that you talk at length about something, usually with an audience (willing or otherwise).
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: harp on and hold forth

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    You bumped your thread rather quickly, don't you think? Please remember we are all volunteers.

    When you harp on something, you are usually complaining. My mother is always harping on my sister about the way she wears her hair.
    I agree with you, but there is a meaning of "harp on" that just means to talk incessantly and tediously about a subject. So, in some uses, "harp on" and "hold forth" can have similar meanings.

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    #6

    Re: harp on and hold forth

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    My mother is always harping on my sister about the way she wears her hair.
    Interesting. In BE we don't use 'harp on' transitively. We'd say 'My mother is always harping on at my sister...'

    Rover

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: harp on and hold forth

    We may too. It's not an expression I use myself or hear much. I doubt there are many citations for it since it's rather informal. Now that I read your version, I'm honestly not sure which sounds more natural, but I know I would never use it the way it is in the original post.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: harp on and hold forth

    I would almost always use "harp on" in terms of the subject being spoken about.

    Oh my god, is he STILL harping on about that concert he went to a month ago?!
    My aunt is always harping on about wanting to lose weight but then she eats junk food twice a day.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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