What is the difference between prendere in braccio and prendere un braccio ?

Here's the context where I encountered the both expressions. It is from a campaign against child violence:

Ogni giorno il mio papà torna a casa, mi prende un in braccio, mi dà un bacalcio e mi dice che sono stupidoendo.

I understand prendere in braccio, but what does the other expression mean in this situation. Sorry for not including the above passage in the original version of the question, but I wasn't aware that it is so problematic.

  • 1
    What do you mean by "prendere un braccio"?
    – user193
    Feb 19, 2014 at 13:37
  • 1
    where do you get these from? Feb 19, 2014 at 13:43
  • 4
    Prendere un braccio can be used only in very special situations; maybe prendere per un braccio would be more common. The phrase prendere in braccio means to take someone in one's arms, to hold.
    – egreg
    Feb 19, 2014 at 14:12
  • 3
    great campaign, it's a pity that it will be hard to translate the pun. Only "ki[ck]sses me" come to my mind Feb 19, 2014 at 18:29
  • 3
    "stup[id]endous" is not that bad either. Feb 19, 2014 at 18:31

1 Answer 1


In this context, "prendere [un bambino] in braccio" means "to hold [a child] in someone's arms" (as in egreg's comment); "prendere un braccio" means "to grab an arm", implying that the gesture is violent.

  • ... but if you are employed in a doll's factory it is a very common sentence without violence implications
    – rosco
    Feb 20, 2014 at 7:42
  • actually "hold in one's arms" is "tenere in braccio", rather than "prendere in braccio" Feb 20, 2014 at 10:15
  • @WalterTross True, of course, in this case the sense of the sentence doesn't change much though. You can also say "pick up [a child] into one's arms".
    – user193
    Feb 20, 2014 at 18:28

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