The next word in our vocabulary boost series is STAY. STAY is a high frequency verb that can be used as a synonym of keep, remain, wait, reside or endure. There are numerous collocations and phrasal verbs that are formed using STAY.


As recommended in our START method (HERE), you should always learn vocabulary as a short phrase and relate new words to synonyms and use them. Click (HERE) and (HERE) for advice on how to learn more vocabulary and HERE for an example of a great strategy to learn new words.

AVOID using stay as a synonym of be or meet. We do not say “I like staying with my friends at the cinema”, this could mean that you sleep in the cinema, which is not correct. We use “I like meeting my friends at the cinema” or “I like being with my friends at the cinema”.





To learn new collocations and word patterns you should create phrases using them and also do exercises (HERE)

Stay on task (not become distracted) In class you need to stay on task at all times

Stay afloat (not sink) For the boat to stay afloat we need to repair it

Stay overnight (sleep over) You can stay overnight if you like

Stay alert (remain vigilant) As a bodyguard you must stay alert at all times

Stay alive (not die) We must eat at least 1000 calories a day to stay alive

Stay at home (not go out) I fancy staying at home tonight

Stay awake (not sleep) It is hard to stay awake when you are sleepy

Stay clear of (avoid) If I were you, I´d stay clear of that guy, he is crazy

Stay in contact/touch (maintain contact) I would love to stay in touch with my school friends

Stay in line (adhere to the rules) In the army you must stay in line

Stay on (remain) Stay on the bus until the next stop!

Stay safe (not put yourself in danger) Use a harness and you will stay safe while climbing

Stay still (not move) Small children find it hard to stay still

Stay the same (not change) I love you just as you are, stay the same




Phrasal verbs:

The learning of phrasal verbs is best done using this method (HERE)

Stay away from (avoid) If I were you, I´d stay away from criminals

Stay behind (remain in a place) I was asked to stay behind by my boss

Stay out of (not get involved in) You should stay out of trouble if you don´t want to be expelled

Stay in (not go out) I feel like staying in tonight and waiting to go out at the weekend

Stay out (not go home) Last night, Rachael didn´t come home, she must have stayed out

Stay off (avoid) Alex is chubby and should stay off the sugary snacks

Stay over (spend the night) I would like you to stay over at my house one night this week


To learn how to use stay you need to practice and put these words and collocations into your own words to be able to remember them.

Recommended Posts

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.