The toddler is holding a lego on his hand.
The toddler is grasping a lego on his hand.

Which word is more commonly used if a toddler is taking a lego (small piece) in his hand?

  • 1
    I guess "a lego" wouldn't surprise me, but in my speech it's always "a lego piece", "a lego block", "a piece of lego", "a block", etc.
    – user230
    May 31, 2014 at 12:11

1 Answer 1


Strictly for this context, I'll answer it in a medical way! BTW, it's 'in his hand'.

The toddler is holding a lego in his hand

That's because grasping comes from your willingness and power. If you as an adult grasp my hand, it'll be difficult for me to take my hand off but it is not that in the toddler's case.

The toddler has involuntary flexes and reflexes at that age so it's holding and not actually grasping.

  • "In his hand" is perfectly correct and the usual way to say it. "In hand" has a completely different usage and in this context would sound robotic and weird.
    – CocoPop
    May 31, 2014 at 12:14
  • @CocoPop I meant 'in his hand' only but wrote it in a general way. Corrected.
    – Maulik V
    May 31, 2014 at 12:19
  • The answer is correct in that holding is the more common word here, but it is equally possible and correct to use grasp. Grasping doesn't necessarily require willingness, more simply power or tightness and babies can certainly grasp. "The baby grasped my finger." isn't at all unusual.
    – David Hall
    Jun 30, 2014 at 15:34
  • @DavidHall when used for babies/kids, I think grasp is used more commonly for their memory/learning power -grasping power. When a baby starts taking things and retain it, we generally used holding. I mean as a medical person, I use it.
    – Maulik V
    Jul 31, 2014 at 4:32

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