LINGUISTICS & CULTURE
|Data:||15/JUN/2007 8:06 PM|
Indeed in at least one of its senses the phrasal hold back will not take an object (objeto). It will take a subject instead.
"The sergeant prodded the soldier on, but the latter kept holding back for fear of getting hit. He had seen his companion's belly blown open by a sniper's bullet, his guts spreading down on the dirt the previous day." (= to deliberately or willingly halt, refuse to move on ; keep back)
"At the slaughterhouse the oxen seemingly sensed death as they approached the death corridor, the last stage of their voyage. They would hold back." (= keep back)
I think you could use it interchangeably with keep back. But not only with keep back. You could certainly use (a variety of) other synonymical verbal phrases to indicate the same feeling, the same sense.
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