See the picture

enter image description here

Say, you ask someone to hold / keep the nail in a fixed position that you require, without moving or changing that position, so that you can easily work on it.

In everyday English, do we say "please hold / keep it still / fixed" in this situation?

1 Answer 1


Anything between nothing and "Hold the nail in a fixed position against the wall without moving it so I may strike it with my hammer"

How much detail do you think you need to give. It is quite possible that you don't need to say anything at all. The mere fact you are working together means that there is no need to say anything at all. Or "Hold it, please" might be enough The answer is language independent. If it is not clear, from the context, that it needs to be still you can add that word "Hold it still, please".

If you need to tell the person that it needs to be in a particular place, (because that is not clear from context" You can add something like "Hold it here, please" or "Hold it on the cross that I drew on the wood".

How much trust do you have in the other person? Do they understand what you are doing? Do you need to explain to them. "Hold it with the point down"

However, all your proposed sentences are good and correct. They tell the person it must not move, and imply that you expect that the person will move the nail if they are not told to keep it still and fixed.

  • It seems like something directly after "between" is missing.
    – WXJ96163
    Mar 15, 2020 at 7:07
  • No, because it might be acceptable to say nothing at all. It may be complete clear from the context and experience of the workers that the nail needs to be held still.
    – James K
    Mar 15, 2020 at 7:10
  • Is it easier to understand to substitute nothing for ""?
    – WXJ96163
    Mar 15, 2020 at 7:16

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .