Number one for English language teachers

Your English: Phrasal verbs: stick to

Type: Article

Here we stick to our promise and bring you another set of phrasal verbs.

The phrasal verb stick to has many different meanings. 

If you stick to something you do something you promised or decided you would do or that you believed you should do, as in, ’The politician stuck to his beliefs and voted against the new policy.’ It can also mean to continue to do or use a particular thing and not change it or stop it for any period of time, for example, ’After much deliberation, the team decided to stick to their original plan.’ A further meaning can be to talk or write about one particular thing only, for instance ’The teacher told the class to write three paragraphs and stick to the topic.’ A final meaning is to follow, in order to avoid danger or getting lost, and is used particularly with reference to a path or a plan: ’If we stick to the plan it will all be OK.’

If you stick with someone you stay close and follow them, as in, ’The market’s very busy, so stick with me and you won’t get lost.’

To stick to your guns means to refuse to change what you are saying or doing despite criticism from others, for example, ’Despite the possible legal implications, the editor stuck to his guns and published the photos.’

Finally, if you stick to your story you refuse to change your account of an event or situation, especially when it’s not true or when people doubt it: ’Despite interrogation by the police, the alleged criminal stuck to his story about where he was on the night of the crime.’

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