I was asking a banking rep about a recently submitted application for financing.

Is "Where are we holding?" grammatically correct? For example, I would ask the question "At what stage is the processing holding at?" To shorten that I would say to the rep:

Hello. This is ____ . Yes I am calling about my application. Where are we holding?

Or if I called as the rep to see where the costumer is holding in the process:

Hi ____ . This is ____ from ____ . I'm calling about your application. So, where are we holding?

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    You'd more typically say, as @Reg puts it, "Where are we with that?", or more explicitly "Where are we with the application?". If the application is delayed or obstructed, the closest formulation to your original, in order to ask about the obstacles, is "What's holding us up?", or more explicitly, "What's holding the application up?". If the application isn't delayed, per se, but you just want to inquire about the next steps, you could ask "What's next [in the process]?". To ask all of that at once, you could say "What's pending?". – Dan Bron Aug 26 '14 at 20:13
  • Ian, to answer the question as asked: no, it is not correct to ask "Where are we holding?" with or without "in regards to". It would be clearer and much more idiomatic to ask "What is the status of the application?" or "What's the status?" or "What's the current status?" or even "What's our status?". Use "status". Go nuts with it. – Dan Bron Aug 27 '14 at 21:30
  • If you think the process has gotten delayed at a particular stage, you might ask Where are we stuck? Or you could ask What's holding it up? – Barmar Aug 28 '14 at 19:07
  1. Don't confuse grammar with meaning. The sentence "Where are we holding?" is grammatically correct because it has a subject and a verb and is correctly constructed. Also the verb "to hold" can be used intransitively. The problem with it is not grammar, it is the fact that the question is not idiomatic in English. I had to read the explanation you gave in order to understand what it meant.

  2. Your sentence "At what stage is the processing holding at?" is grammatically incorrect because you have repeated "at". In terms of grammar, you can either say:

"At what stage is the processing holding?"


"What stage is the processing holding at?"

  1. Neither of those last two sentences is idiomatic. The listener might or might not understand what you mean.

  2. Dan Bron and Barmar have given you good examples of what you could say instead. If you want to include the word "hold", you must use the phrasal verb "to hold up". It must be in the passive voice because the process is being held up by someone or something.

I hope this helps.

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I just want to say that "where are we holding?" Or "where are you holding?" Is actually a common expression and independent of "in regards to." This is a common phrase in the Orthodox Jewish population, but I sense that it's current popularity there is due to the fact that it's such a great phrase. The connotation is essentially "how is your personal progress going?" But it can also be applied to any situation, just as the questioner here had used it at the bank. Given how common it is used in the Orthodox Jewish population it may be a matter of time before it reaches the "mainstream." In any case, try using and see just how applicable it is!

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    I've heard "how are you holding up?" and similar expressions, but not "where are you holding," and I can't find information on the expression. Do you have any source for people who want to know more? – TaliesinMerlin Jan 8 '19 at 14:05
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    Hi Daniel, welcome to EL&U. This isn't a bad start, but it's too short: the system has flagged it as "low-quality", presumably because you offer no independent evidence to support your claim. Can I suggest you edit your answer to provide a published example of the expression (say, a magazine, or even a video clip of a TV show)? Also, please add city/country, since we can't tell if you mean the Orthodox Jewish population in Oslo or Tokyo or somewhere that might have idiosyncratic English expressions. For further guidance, see How to Answer and take the EL&U Tour :-) – Chappo Hasn't Forgotten Monica Jan 8 '19 at 22:59
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    You can also improve your answer if you can find information about how and when this phrase became common in that community. – Jay Elston Jan 9 '19 at 1:18

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