General Writing and Grammar Help/Stand still - stay put

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Question
Dear Ted:

Is there any difference between "to stand still" and "to stay put"?

If so, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

Also, are there any alternatives to the above phrases?

Thank you,

Paolo

P.S. Ted, Is the question "Also, are there any alternatives to the above phrases?" correctly formulated?

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Is there any difference between "to stand still" and "to stay put"?

If so, when should I use each of them?

*** In many instances, they mean the same thing.  However, "stand still" applies only to people who are standing.  "Stay put" has more applications.  The person could be either standing or sitting.

Would you please give me some examples?

The officer ordered all the soldiers to STAND STILL.

The students were having their class picture taken, and the photographer asked them all to STAND STILL.

My mother started to get out of her chair, because my father wanted a cup of coffee.  I told her to SIT STILL, and I would get the coffee.

During the written examination, David was so nervous, he could not SIT STILL.

Also, are there any alternatives to the above phrases?

*** You can say "remain in place" or "don't move" for STAND STILL.

For STAY PUT, you can say "remain seated" or "don't get up."

Thank you,

Paolo

P.S. Ted, Is the question "Also, are there any alternatives to the above
phrases?" correctly formulated?

*** YES

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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