English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Wherever "let go of your hand" is used, can "let go your hand" be used in its place? Is there any difference at all?

share|improve this question

"Let go your hand" is grammatically correct, but archaic. See Shakespeare's Julius Caesar: "let slip the dogs of war."

share|improve this answer
This has the most upvotes but it doesn't follow. The question is about 'of'. It would be incorrect to say say, "Let slip of the dogs of war" so the quotation does not provide a justification: either that the original phrase is archaic or that it is correct. – chasly from UK Oct 20 '15 at 9:34

No, you shouldn't drop the prepostion of in the expression let go of.

The expression let go is used for ceasing employment, so the result could easily become confusing or misleading.

share|improve this answer
Why the downvote? If you don't explain what it is that you think is incorrect, it can't improve the answer. – Guffa May 12 '11 at 11:48
Sorry, I was going to comment and got distracted. First, I think the context would rule out any confusion over what was being let go and in what sense. Second, your answer doesn't address whether or not this use is grammatically correct, which seems to be the reason for the question. – Callithumpian May 12 '11 at 12:05

There is nothing grammatically incorrect in your phrase.

Consider thus:

    Let your hand go.

It is the same, where "your hand" is the direct object of the verb "let". You've simply inverted part of the sentence, which has no bearing on the grammatical soundness thereof.

It does sound a bit odd, all the same, at least, to me (native US English speaker) it does.

share|improve this answer

In Spanish we say "letting go of hands" or literally "soltarse de las manos". I think in English it would be like "hands off" or "release your hands" but I don't know if it replaces "let go your hand".

share|improve this answer

If it were "Let go my hand", I would have no hesitation in accepting it as a spoken alternative to "Let go of my hand".

But "Let go your hand" is odd, because "Let go of your hand" is an unlikely thing to say, so I would probably interpret it as "Let go (of something) with your hand".

share|improve this answer

As other stated - grammatically correct, but bit odd and even ambiguous, unclear.

Therefore the meaning is not the same:

Let your hand go

(tonybaldwin's example)

is different from

Let go of your hand

(which does imply it was held, where the first example does not)

share|improve this answer
How can you let something go, if you are not holding it? – z7sg Ѫ May 12 '11 at 12:38
You can let go in a sense of: to relax, to let it be spontaneous and also to give up on something or to release from employment. There is overlap in most senses, but I still feel that with 'let go of your hand' there is a stronger implication of actually holding something with that same hand. – Unreason May 12 '11 at 13:31
Can I have an explanation of the downvote, it is hard to improve with no feedback. – Unreason May 12 '11 at 15:58

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.