0

Tom is carrying his son on his motorbike with him (the son) sitting on the pillion.

Tom doesn't want his son to fall off the motorbike and he asks his son to wrap his arms around Tom's belly tight.

Is it correct for Tom to say "Hold on to me tightly. Don't let go of me" or "Hold on to me tightly. Don't let go of yourself" in this situation?

I don't understand why CHatgpt 4 suggests saying "Hold on to me tightly. Don't let go of me".

Say, if the boy is holding on to a kite that is flying in the air, then we can say to the boy "Hold on to it tightly. Don't let go of the kite" because the kite will go if the boy stops holding on to it.

However, let's go back to the above scenario, the dad (Tom) won't go anywhere, he just stays there, he's just afraid of his son leaving him. So, I think Tom should say to his son, "Hold on to me tightly. Don't let go of yourself".

2
  • 1
    He can just say 'don't let go!' because it is (or should be) obvious what the son should not let go of. Commented Dec 22, 2023 at 10:51
  • 5
    From the kid's point of view, he isn't going anywhere. He's going to stay very close to himself regardless of how tightly he holds, or not.
    – ilkkachu
    Commented Dec 22, 2023 at 13:17

4 Answers 4

10

They boy is holding on to his father. So the thing he should not let go of is the father, not himself. If he was holding on to himself, you might say "Don't let go of yourself". That would be a very odd thing to say. You're attached to yourself, how would you let go of yourself?

The fact that in the kite example the kite might fly away while in the motorcycle example the boy might fall off is irrelevant. The point in both cases is that the two must remain connected to each other, and if he lets go, they will not remain connected. Which one stays in place and which goes somewhere else is not relevant.

1
  • 3
    From now on, every time I launch a bootstrapping process on my computer I will think of this answer and silently articulate "don't let go of yourself"
    – Stef
    Commented Dec 22, 2023 at 13:57
16

Say, if the boy is holding on to a kite that is flying in the air, then we can say to the boy "Hold on to it tightly. Don't let go of the kite" because the kite will go if the boy stops holding on to it.

No, this is not at all the reason why you use "let go" in that situation. You can equally well say "don't let go of the railing", even though clearly the railing is not going anywhere.

You may be misunderstanding "don't let go of X" as "don't let X go, don't let X get away", which is not the same thing. "Let go of X" just means "stop holding X", there is no implication that anything (whether the holder or the thing they were holding) needs to go anywhere, regardless of the fact that that's presumably where the expression originally comes from.

3

In "You cut yourself”
Who performed the action? Answer: You.
"Whose skin was cut?" Ans: Yours.

In the imperative sentence "Hold on to me tight"
Who is holding someone? Ans: The son.
Who is riding the motorbike? Ans: The dad.
Whose body is being held? Ans: Dad's.

3

Say, if the boy is holding on to a kite that is flying in the air, then we can say to the boy "Hold on to it tightly. Don't let go of the kite" because the kite will go if the boy stops holding on to it.

I think you are treating the word go too literally - as if "let go" means "allow it to leave".

To a native speaker, "let go" has an idiomatic meaning equivalent to "release your hold".

"Hold on to me tightly. Don't (release your hold) of me".

You must log in to answer this question.

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