Which of 'holding' and 'carrying' would be more correct/natural to use in this situation? Or are they equally correct/natural?

She got into the cab, holding/carrying a box of chocolates.

  • They are both fine and, for all intents and purposes, totally synonymous in this situation
    – Kevin
    Aug 12, 2021 at 14:58

2 Answers 2


Both "holding" and "carrying" are pretty much equally valid.

"Holding" slightly implies that they are being held against her body, a bit like holding a baby, or clutched in her hand.

"Carrying" on the other hand, implies that they are dangling in a bag of some sort, or perhaps supported loosely on top of her arms.

  • Do you mean “lightly” or “tightly”? Aug 12, 2021 at 11:06
  • @JeffMorrow Edited - is it clear enough now?
    – MikeB
    Aug 12, 2021 at 14:22
  • Looks fine to me Aug 12, 2021 at 17:45

Hold and carry are very similar and, in this case, basically synonymous.

Carry implies transporting something from one place to another. Hold has no such implication, but doesn't imply not transporting, either.

  • In the context of getting into a cab while holding/carrying box of chocolates, they have different meanings, and neither is about transportation.
    – gotube
    Aug 14, 2021 at 6:24
  • @gotube Care to elaborate on those differences?
    – Kevin
    Aug 16, 2021 at 12:32
  • Mike Brockington did a decent job of it in his answer. We tend to "hold" objects in our hands, but "carry" objects that hang. I hold my phone in my hand, but I carry grocery bags.
    – gotube
    Aug 16, 2021 at 17:19
  • @gotube Yeah, no. Google "hold vs carry." See how many hits you get describing your definition vs how many you get describing mine
    – Kevin
    Aug 16, 2021 at 18:07

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