I'm driving. I have a coffee in the cup holder. I grab/pick up my coffee and take a sip.

Are "grab my coffee" and "pick up my coffee" equally natural?

1 Answer 1


"Pick up" is more suitable for a written context.

If we look at the definition of the word grab:

grasp or seize suddenly and roughly

We can see that it wouldn't really fit in most written circumstances, unless you were trying to convey that specific way of picking something up.

However, "grab" is used quite a lot colloquially in speech, usually, in this context, as a way of expressing that you'll be doing something quickly, e.g., if someone is waiting for you:

Give me a second, I'll just grab my coffee.

  • Let's grab some coffee is also used, although with a different meaning.
    – user3395
    Nov 24, 2019 at 15:53
  • 1
    When saying, “let’s grab a coffee,” there is a subtle acknowledgement of the fact that it is (or will be) a relatively quick activity, for example, in contrast to “let’s go for dinner.”
    – Chris Mack
    Nov 24, 2019 at 15:57

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