Keep vs Put: Difference and Comparison

Keep and put are verbs of everyday use. There are several instances where keep and put can be used invariably in sentences or regular speaking.

Key Takeaways

  1. “Keep” implies retaining possession or maintaining something in a particular state, while “put” means placing or positioning an object somewhere.
  2. “Keep” can also suggest continuing an action, while “put” focuses on the action of placement or insertion.
  3. The verb “keep” conveys a sense of safeguarding or preserving, whereas “put” relates to setting or depositing.

Keep vs Put

Keep is a verb used in the English language to imply storing something in possession. This verb is used in sentences to indicate an instruction or a way of doing something. Keep is used in a sentence for long-term actions. Put is a verb used in English that implies moving something in a specific spot or location. It is used for short-term actions. Put expresses something in words, keep. In contrast, put is used in sentences that denote short-term non-customary actions. Consider, for example, the sentence: put the books away or where did you put my spectacles? Both these sentences denote actions that are non-customary, i.e. not a habit.

Keep vs Put

Keep has a use in sentences to give instructions. For instance, Keep your books away from the child.  In addition, keeping is more or less similar to store or place.

Put means to move something or someone in a particular position, place or direction. For example, put the keys in the kitchen drawer or put your hands over your head.

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Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonKeepPut
DefinitionKeep means to store something or have something in your possession. Put means to move something or someone in a particular position, place, or direction. 
Duration of useKeep has a practical application for long term and customary actions.Put has a practical application for short term and non-customary actions. 
Past and Future TenseThe present and future tense of keep is kept.The present and future tense of put is put. 
Alternate UsesKeep may be used in instruction sentences or to indicate how something should be done.Put may be used to initiate something or express something in words. 
ExamplesKeep the books in the drawer. Raghav keeps fresh fruits in the refrigerator. Put your words into action.Put the cupboard keys on the table. 

What is Keep?

According to the Cambridge dictionary, keep means to have or continue to have in your possession. For example, Do you want this book, or can I keep it?

Keep is more or less similar to store or place. We keep the dairy products in the refrigerator. In contrast, we keep the books on the study table.

In addition, keep can have a practical application to indicate how a task shall be done. For example, You should keep your mouth shut in class or Learn to keep your anger in control. 

Keep can have an application in giving instructions. For instance, Keep your books away from the child or Keep away from the Thompsons because they are not friendly.

keep

What is Put?

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, put means to move something or someone in a particular position, place, or direction.

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Another application of put is to describe someone or something in comparison to similar things or ideas.

Put is used for short-term non-customary actions. For instance, put the books away, or where did you put my glasses? Both these actions are non-customary.

For instance, the teacher puts a lot of emphasis on the need to attend classes regularly, or Adam is putting pressure on me to change my career choice.

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Main Differences Between Keep and Put

  1. Keep may be used in instruction sentences or to indicate how a particular task shall be done. In contrast, put may be used to initiate something or express something in words. 
  2. Examples of keep-in-sentences are: My father kept a small tobacconist in New York.
Difference Between Keep and Put
References
  1. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Bert-Cappelle/publication/251937095_Keep_and_keep_on_compared/links/555c4fa708ae6aea081738c6/Keep-and-keep-on-compared.pdf 
  2. http://wwwling.arts.kuleuven.be/nrg4/_pdf/pardeshi.pdf 

Last Updated : 05 September, 2023

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