General Writing and Grammar Help/Stand with - stand by

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Question
Dear Ted:

Shortly after the Paris shooting, I heard UK Prime Minister David Cameron say, "We will stand WITH you."

My questions are these:

1) Why did he say, "....stand WITH you" and not "....stand BY you"?

2) What is the difference between the two? Would you please give me some examples?

Many, many thanks for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

  
Shortly after the Paris shooting, I heard UK Prime Minister David Cameron say, "We will stand WITH you."

My questions are these:

1) Why did he say, "....stand WITH you" and not "....stand BY you"?

2) What is the difference between the two? Would you please give me some examples?

*** The difference is very subtle, but it is also important.

STAND WITH:

A strong expression of "togetherness" or "unity."  Imagine half of an audience standing in unison, and then the other half stands.  The others are standing WITH the first half.

The boys took a pledge to STAND WITH each other in times of need.

Despite the many tragedies in their lives, Mr. and Mrs. Smith STOOD WITH each other and faced their problems together.

STAND BY:

This statement also indicates support, but "by" suggests BESIDE, not with or a part of.
If I STAND BY someone, I will offer my encouragement, but I will not get myself involved in his problems.

Please don't just STAND BY and watch; get involved!

Joyce STOOD BY her husband, even though he had cheated on her multiple times.

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

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