The meaning of – Hold a grudge

Have you heard this English expression before? It’s a great way of describing how you can’t let go of anger after an argument or after an upsetting situation. It usually refers to something that happened a while ago and might be trivial even, but you can’t quite forgive and forget. You hold a grudge against that person/those people who upset you.

Perhaps when you were a child, your parents took your sister on an amazing holiday but didn’t take you because you had exams at school. Everybody else has forgotten but you still remember and still feel a bit angry that you missed out on that holiday. You’re holding a grudge against your parents.

Or perhaps you really liked somebody at school but then your best friend started dating that person. It was a long time ago and everybody has broken up and moved on but you still can’t forget that your best friend would do that to you. You’re holding a grudge about it.

Your sister says to you:

I can’t believe you’re still holding a grudge about that! It was years ago and Mum and Dad just wanted you to pass your exams!

Your best friend discovers that you haven’t forgiven him and says to you:

I’m so sorry. I didn’t even know you liked her! Have you really been holding a grudge all these years?!

And often people use it in this way:

I’m not the kind of person to hold a grudge. I just forgive and forget! It’s not healthy to hold grudges, it makes you old and bitter!

Think about these questions: Do you agree that holding grudges makes people bitter? Are you the type of person to hold grudges? Is there anything from your childhood you are still holding a grudge about? Or do you always forgive and forget?
Have a go at writing your answer in English in my comments at the bottom of this post 🙂

photo by Freddie Marriage

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Nicki is a Cambridge qualified, experienced English teacher for foreign learners. She loves helping English learners to learn real English and communicate with confidence!

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