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WORDS AND THEIR STORIES - Hold On

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Dolly Parton arrives at the Los Angelespremiere of her movie 'Joyful Noise'
Dolly Parton arrives at the Los Angelespremiere of her movie 'Joyful Noise'

Now, WORDS AND THEIR STORIES, a VOA Special English program about American expressions. I'm Rich Kleinfeldt with expressions made using the word hold.

"Can't hold a candle to" is a popular expression. It is from the time before electricity, when people used candles for light. Someone who lived in a big house would have a servant light his way by holding a candle. The expression meant that the person who cannot hold a candle to you is not fit even to be your servant. Now, it means such a person cannot compare or compete. In the following song, singer Dolly Parton tells her new love that her old flames, her old lovers, cannot compare with him.

(MUSIC)

Another expression is "hold your tongue." It means to be still and not talk. "Hold your tongue" is not something you would tell a friend. But a parent or teacher might use the expression to quiet a noisy child.

"Hold out" is an expression one hears often in sports reports and labor news. It means to refuse to play or work. Professional football and baseball players hold out if their team refuses to pay them what they think they are worth. Members of labor unions hold out and refuse to work until they get the work agreement they want.

The expression "hold up" has several different meanings. One is a robbery. A man with a gun may say, "This is a hold up. Give me your money." Another meaning is to delay. A driver late for work may tell his boss, "I was held up by heavy traffic." Someone who was robbed on the way to work might say, "Sorry, boss, I was held up by a hold up."

Still another meaning of the expression is for a story to be considered true after an investigation. The same driver late for work could say, "My boss did not believe a hold up held me up. But the police confirmed what I said so my story held up."

"Hold on" is another expression. Often it means wait or stop. As you leave for school, your brother may say, "Hold on, you forgot your book."

Hold on is used to ask a telephone caller to wait and not hang up his telephone. If you call a library to ask for a book, the librarian might say, "Hold on while I look for it."

Our final expression is "hold the line." That means to keep a problem or situation from getting worse, to hold steady. For example, the president may say he will hold the line on taxes. He means there will be no increase in taxes. Now, I must hold the line on this program. I have no more time left today.

(MUSIC)

This VOA Special English program, WORDS AND THEIR STORIES, was written by Frank Beardsley. I'm Rich Kleinfeldt.

网友的学习评论(15条):
作者:cynthia
they all can't hold the candle to you, my darling
作者:King
a second change princess, hold the whole.
作者:ich
hold on
作者:Edwiess
to quiet a noisy child.
作者:Edwiess
这句话是不是有错误?
作者:xxtzb
To Edwiess, 这里quiet是做动词用,意思是:使....安静。But a parent or teacher might use the expression to quiet a noisy child. 但是家长或老师让一个吵闹的孩子安静时,可能会用这个表达(hold your tongue).因为这个表达有责备和命令的意思,所以一般不会用于朋友。
作者:dragonfly
it is really important to learn some phrases from the context. hold on has several meanings. i learned several other phrases such as "hold up, hold one's tongue, hold out." and ' can't hold a candle to sb.
作者:Edwiess
thank you.
作者:susan
this morning, one my supplier chatting with me via e-mail, but his time to go home is coming..so i can say to him as "I have to hold the line on talking with you, otherwise you will be late to go home"... seems nice~
作者:Rachel
I only know hold on in the phone conversation.
作者:Brake He
one time, absolutely get all of them, my English reaches a new level
作者:Jefferson Liu
I think I can't hold a handle to you.Hold your tongue please,we should decide when to hold out as soon as possible,and we have no time to hold up.Hold on,I believe our fees will hold the line.
作者:May
Hold on ,please, dear husband . I'm held up by a man who hold the candle to us. Because I asked him to hold his tongue, and he held out. ring the cops to hold the line.
作者:Eva
English phases have many meanings.Even the different phases may have the similar meanings,so it is hard for us to differenate them.These require us to get a good knowledge of the English cultures.
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