To maintain something is to clean it, fix it, watch it, or keep it.

  • A person who maintains his or her composure doesn’t get upset.
  • To properly maintain your car, it’s necessary to change the oil regularly.
  • Our car is maintained by a local mechanic.
  • Brad and Zahra maintain a good relationship following their divorce.
  • Our cat has been maintaining a careful watch over an area of the house where mice sometimes enter.
  • The baseball team maintained a lead over the other team for most of the game, but then lost it at the end.
  • President Obama maintains a good amount of respect from leaders around the world.
  • Maintaining political stability around the world is an important part of the President’s job. (In this sentence "maintaining" is a gerund.)

The word "maintenance" is a noun:

  • It’s important to keep up on the maintenance of a car if you want it to run properly.
  • Darrel says his wife requires a lot of maintenance. (This is said of a person who needs a lot of attention and patience.)
  • You can refer to the owner’s guide for the proper maintenance of a lawnmower.
  • The maintenance man in our building knows how to fix anything. (The word "maintenance" is used as an adjective in this sentence to describe "man.")

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Date of publication: November 15, 2016