30 Ways to Use the Verb STAND

Hi dear English learners! In today’s blog entry I’d like to look at 30 ways to use the verb stand, such as words that collocate with it, phrasal verbs and all kinds of idiomatic expressions like idioms, sayings and proverbs.

First, let’s define the verb stand. It has several meanings, but to mention a few:

  • to be upright on your feet in a vertical position (Tara was standing next to him)
  • to remain still (Water in the lake was standing still)
  • put something in a vertical position (Stand your bicycle against the wall)
  • to dislike someone or something (Simon couldn’t stand the smell in the lab)

Collocations with the verb STAND

Stand still/straight/proud/there/tall

  • He seemed to have ants in his pants, refusing to stand still.
  • Stand straight, lift up on your toes and then lower down.
  • Everyone should stand proud and do something meaningful with their life.
  • Don’t just stand there. Why don’t you help us?
  • The time has come for this nation to stand tall and peacefully protest.

Stand corrected 

Meaning: admit that what you’ve said or done is wrong.

  • I’m so sorry that I wrote your name down all wrong. I stand corrected.

Can’t stand

Meaning: despise, don’t like.

  • David couldn’t stand people bossing him around.

Can hardly stand

  • John was so tired, he could hardly stand on his two feet.

Be left standing

  • After the tornado, some large trees were left standing but smaller ones were chopped down.
Stand against
  • No candidates were standing against him any longer, so he won the election.
30 Ways to Use the Verb STAND
30 Ways to Use the Verb STAND

Phrasal Verbs with STAND

Stand aside

Meaning: to move sideways to let somebody/something pass.

  • Will you please stand aside so that the bus can pass?
  • Everybody stand aside and make way for the ambulance. 
Stand back

Meaning: to move away from someone or something, especially in a dangerous situation.

  • If you’re ever confronted by a spitting cobra stand back at least 10 feet and protect your eyes.
  • Everybody stand back and put your hands on your heads. This is an armed robbery.
Stand by

Meaning: to help and support someone in a difficult situation.

  • My parents always stood by me during difficult times in my career.
  • When you love someone, you believe in them, you expect them to stand by you.
Stand down

Meaning: to leave your job or position.

  • After 20 years of service, Martin decided to stand down and become a writer.
  • The Minister of Internal Affairs announced that he is standing down from his position.
Stand for

Meaning: to support an idea or a cause.

  • That non-governmental organization has always stood for freedom of the press.
  • Our party stands for human rights and gender equality.
Stand in

Meaning: to do somebody’s job while they’re absent.

  • Our geography teacher was ill last week so they found another teacher to stand in for him.
  • Would you stand in for me at the meeting tomorrow? I have to go to the dentist.
Stand out

Meaning: to be better than others.

  • It’s the structure and body of this wine that makes it stand out.
  • Martin obviously stood out from the majority of his peers.
Stand over

Meaning: to stand very close to someone in order to supervise them.

  • My mum always stands over me while I do my homework, which drives me crazy.
  • The doctor’s going to stand over you while you’re in labour, so don’t worry. 
Stand up

Meaning: to rise into an upright position on your feet.

  • When the teacher entered the classroom, all the students stood up.
  • I need to sit down. I’ve been standing up in a queue for two hours.
Stand up for

Meaning: to support a person or idea which is criticised.

  • If we feel that a decision is unjust and unfair, we shall stand up for ourselves.
  • Unions must unite on this issue and stand up for the workers.
30 Ways to Use the Verb STAND
30 Ways to Use the Verb STAND

Idiomatic expressions with STAND

Make somebody’s hair stand on end

Meaning: to make somebody very frightened or shocked.

  • Watching horror movies at night makes my hair stand on end.
  • Screaming coming from the basement made Molly’s hair stand on end.
Not have a leg to stand on

Meaning: not being able to prove or justify what you say.

  • Martin says that the company owes him money, but without evidence, he doesn’t have a leg to stand on.
  • There were no witnesses to the accident, so Brian didn’t have a leg to stand on.
Stand in somebody’s way

Meaning: to prevent someone from doing something.

  • After they divorced, Susan didn’t want to stand in her husband’s way, so she moved abroad.
  • You should know that your mother and I won’t stand in your way if you want to be an actress.
Stand head and shoulders above

Meaning: to be way better than others.

  • George got the job because he stood head and shoulders above other candidates.
  • We decided to buy this laptop because it stood head and shoulders above others in the shop.
If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen

Meaning: use it to tell someone to stop complaining or stop doing something too difficult for them.

  • If you find this job too difficult and stressful, you should quit. You know what they say – if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
  • We’ll help you as much as we can but if you feel that you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
Stand on ceremony

Meaning: to be very formal. It is usually used in negative form.

  • Please relax and make yourself at home. We don’t stand on ceremony here.
  • You must not stand on ceremony with me or I shall find you exceedingly boring.
Stand on your own two feet

Meaning: be independent.

  • Lorna had a hard time standing on her own two feet after her husband left her with two children.
  • Now when you’ve graduated, you should get a job and stand on your own two feet.
Stand a chance

Meaning: to have hope or possibility of success.

  • I think you stand a chance with that company. Why don’t you apply for a job there?
  • The tennis player doesn’t stand a chance of winning this match.

Meaning: lasting for a long time.

  • The two countries had a long-standing dispute with each other over a piece of territory.
  • It helps to remind us of the long-standing peace between England and France and reminds us to continue that peace.
Stand in awe of someone/something

Meaning: to have respect toward someone or something.

  • I always stand in awe when I hear our national anthem.
  • One cannot but stand in awe of such selfless devotion to a cause.
30 Ways to Use the Verb STAND
30 Ways to Use the Verb STAND

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