Understanding English Grammar – phrasal verbs ‘stay’
Now let’s look at some common expressions using the verb ‘to stay’ combined with particles:
‘to stay ahead’ of someone or something means to remain in a better position than them
- We have to invest in new equipment if we want to stay ahead of the competition.
- The company is always looking for a way to stay ahead of the others.
‘to stay away from’ someone or a place means to avoid them, not to go near them.
- I told you to stay away from that part of town, it is dangerous.
- I prefer to stay away from discussing politics. It always causes an argument.
‘to stay behind’ means to remain in a place after everyone else has left.
- The teacher asked me to stay behind after class to finish my work.
- I stayed behind after the meeting to discuss a few things that were not on the agenda.
‘to stay in’ means to not go out but to remain at home.
- I’m going to stay in tonight and get an early night.
- We didn’t go out. We stayed in and watched TV yesterday evening.
‘to stay off’ means to not go to work or school.
- Stay off until you’re feeling better. Don’t come in to work tomorrow.
- I stayed off for three days until I felt better.
‘to stay on’ means to remain in a place or job longer than planned.
- He stayed on as a consultant after he retired as chairman.
- You can leave school at sixteen but I stayed on until I was eighteen.
‘to stay out’ means to remain away from home.
- We stayed out all night and took the subway home as people were going to work.
- As I was leaving, my mother told me not to stay out too late.
‘to stay out of’ something means to not get involved or take part.
- Stay out of this. It doesn’t concern you.
- I’m staying out of this. I don’t want to get involved.
‘to stay over’ means to spend the night at someone’s instead of leaving.
- Why don’t you stay over? You’re going to miss the last train.
- I stayed over at my friend’s because I don’t like driving at night.
‘to stay up’ means to not go to bed at the usual time.
- I’m really tired today. I stayed up until two last night.
- He stayed up all last night working. He had an essay to finish.