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General Writing and Grammar Help/Stand BY someone - stand beside someone

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Question
Dear Ted:

Is there any difference between "to stand BY someone" and "to stand BESIDE someone"?

If so, when should I used each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

Thank you,

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Is there any difference between "to stand BY someone" and "to stand BESIDE
someone"?

If so, when should I used each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

*** The two phrases mean the same thing USUALLY.  They can be interchanged.

There is a special meaning for "to stand BY someone," and it has nothing to do with actually standing.  The phrase is figurative, meaning that you support someone or something.

EXAMPLES:

I STAND BY my original statement.

Even though many scientists are changing their minds about global warming, the vast number of them STAND BY their original beliefs.

INTERCHANGEABLE:

The bride will STAND BY/STAND BESIDE the groom during the wedding ceremony.

When the politician admitted his affairs with other women, his wife STOOD BY/STOOD BESIDE him when he made his public apology.

Ted

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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.

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

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