I'm confused because searching the phrase yields more or less the same results on Google Books:

lose grip on the

lose grip of the

Which alternative is correction? Or maybe both are correct?

Example sentence:

When the train started off, she lost grip of the standing pole she was grabbing.

  • 1
    A fine point. To grab is to reach out towards something and seize it. The participle grabbing would suggest an attempt to grab in progress, that her grip on the pole had not been fully established. She cannot lose a grip she hasn't got yet. In any case, you don't really need "she was grabbing" as you already have "grip".
    – TimR
    Sep 2, 2018 at 11:08

1 Answer 1


lose your grip is an expression which is used literally but also figuratively. Dictionaries shows in both cases the use of the preposition on, but evidence from Google Books suggests that both on and of are commonly used.

to become less confident and less able to deal with a situation

• He began a forlorn final game by losing his grip on the racket altogether.

• Half way through, the film loses its grip on the day-to-day reality in Northern Ireland.

• Unfortunately, lately her mother seems to have lost her grip on reality.

(Longman Dictionary)

lose your grip (on something):

to become less able to understand things or deal with them

  • Are you starting to lose your grip on reality?

MacMillan Dictionary

  • When the train started off, she lost grip of/on the standing pole she was grabbing

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