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Standby vs. stand by

  • The one-word standby works as a noun, an adjective, or an adverb. It’s correct in the phrase on standby, meaning ready and waiting. By contention, the one-word form doesn’t work as a verb. When you need a verb meaning to stand beside or to be at the ready, use the two-word phrase stand by.

    The plural of standby is standbys, not standbies. And because standby doesn’t work as a verb, standbied and standbying have no use. Stood by and standing by are the inflections of the phrasal verb stand by.

    Examples

    Standby

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    In April, he ditched it in favor of his old standby: the curveball. [Star-Ledger]

    And will they go beyond the usual GOP standbys, like tort reform and selling health insurance across state lines? [Politico]

    Residents in the Lefthand Canyon area were on standby to evacuate after automatic messages went to 340 phone lines warning them of the fire Sunday night. [Denver Post]

    Stand by

    That confidence was hard-won and no inflation-targeting central bank can stand by and see it frittered away. [New Zealand Herald]

    Mohamed Sabual used to stand by silently as he heard classmates and other youths mocking Muslims. [Calgary Herald]

    Stand by for a glimpse of one of the brightest stars of the week. [Telegraph]

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    Comments

    1. ERADFGHFD says:

      STILL CONFUSED

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