Use the word "state" when a person says something of importance or when the thing said has some legal purpose:

past participle
  • The judge asked the defendant to state his name.
  • He stated his name for everyone to hear.
  • The teacher asked the students to state their last name first and their first name second.
  • It’s clearly stated in this document who legally owns this property.
  • He made a statement that was hard to prove. (The word "statement" is a noun.)
  • Politicians are asked to clearly state their positions on the important issues of the day.

man speaking

The word "state" can also be used as a noun to mean situation or condition.

  • The woman was in a state of shock following the accident.
  • His mental state has improved in the last year.
  • They found themselves in a desperate state when they lost their jobs.
  • Their state of affairs is a little messy right now.

A state can also be a self-governing section of a country or a country:

  • What state do you live in?
  • She lives in the state of Illinois.
  • Vince works for the state.
  • There are 50 states in the United States.
  • John Kerry is the U.S. Secretary of State. (Sometimes the word "state" is used in place of the word "nation.")
  • France is a sovereign state. (It’s a country that governs itself and makes its own decisions.)

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May 21, 2014