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.


exercise 2

exercise 3

16 thoughts on “Understanding English Grammar – phrasal verbs ‘stay’”

  1. These lessons are awsome! I would really like to be able to copy the exercises on my pc and use them with my students.

    Regards from Argentina

  2. hello dear sir
    thanks a lot for Ur interesting and help full lessons you are the great teacher in world
    best regards
    bye bye

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