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    • Join Date: Sep 2006
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    "hold an ability"

    In a student's essay I found the phrase "Being in command of a language means that you hold the ability to use certain sets of symbols [etc.]". Is this correct English?
    Last edited by semper03; 05-Jan-2009 at 19:40.

  1. BobK's Avatar
    Harmless drudge
    English Teacher
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      • Native Language:
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      • UK
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    • Join Date: Jul 2006
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    Re: "hold an ability"

    It sounds very odd to this native speaker. (I suppose 'hold on to' might be used in the context of a skill that you 'use or lose': 'If you're bilingual, hold on to your mother tongue'...)). But in your student's context, 'have the ability' is what I'd expect. (Maybe the student's L1 has one word for both "have" and "hold".)


    • Join Date: Sep 2006
    • Posts: 2

    Re: "hold an ability"

    Thank you very much!

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