To stay is to be in one place, usually for a temporary period of time. This word is often used for people who are traveling:

  • Harold stayed at a very nice hotel when he went on vacation with this family.
  • If you visit New York, where will you stay?
  • The Palmer House in Chicago is a great place to stay.
  • Everyone was curious to know where Barack Obama was staying when he visited our city.

As a verb, "stay" is similar to the verb "remain."

  • Vanessa’s hair won’t stay in place unless she puts something on it.
  • A two-year old has a hard time staying in one place for very long.
  • Those items on sale won’t stay around for very long because they’re so cheap.
  • The meat that we put in the freezer will stay good for several weeks.
  • Stay where you are and I’ll pick you up.
  • We could’t stay at the party for more than an hour.
  • I’m sorry, I can’t stay. (A person says this when he or she shows up a place but then must leave immediately.)

The word "stay" can be used as a noun. A stay is a temporary visit.

  • Yolanda had an overnight stay in Memphis.
  • Bill and Jennifer have a two-week stay in Barcelona.
  • The manager of the hotel told his guests that he hoped they enjoyed their stay.
  • I hope you enjoyed your stay.

To overstay is to stay in a place for too long:

  • Li overstayed his visa.
  • A group of rowdy college kids on vacation overstayed their welcome. (They stayed too long and their behavior wasn’t very good. To overstay one’s welcome is an expression.)

front desk

The man at the front desk of the hotel will ask you whether or not you enjoyed your stay.

Thanks to Srinivas for the suggestion!

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This page was published on June 18, 2017.