What are the difference between be strong, stay strong, keep strong, get strong, become strong, and remain strong?


The adjective strong means the same thing in all these expressions:
having the strength, physical power or conviction to do something/ not being easily defeated

So, to see the differences in meaning, we have to examine the verbs be, stay, keep, get, become, and remain.


Be refers to a state: I am strong. You are strong. He is strong. This is our present state.

114+ Best Stay Positive Quotes That Actually Changed My Life

114+ Best Stay Positive Quotes That... x
114+ Best Stay Positive Quotes That Actually Changed My Life

If someone is not strong, you can tell them:

  • Don’t let them make you cry. Be strong.


Stay and remain are synonyms, both verbs mean being in the same state/ not changing.

If someone is strong and you would like him or her to continue being strong, you can tell them:

  • You’ve been doing so well so far. Just try to stay strong.

Stay strong is what people usually say to each other. Remain strong sounds more formal:

  • Even though she received embarrassing questions, Charlize remained strong and answered all of them.


Both get and become mean start to be. Here are some examples of how to use get strong and become strong:

  • The illness left Sharon really weak. She needed to get stronger to be able to go back to work.
  • If you want to get really strong, you should start coming to the gym with me.
  • Christine has become such a strong woman since she left her husband.
  • What should I do to become strong?

To learn when to use get and become, read Difference between GET and BECOME with examples!

While the verb keep is often used to mean continue/ not to stop, normally it is not used together with adjectives. It’s used together with gerunds (verb+ing): keep smiling, keep working, keep learning. It is possible to say keep being strong, but it’s not a common expression.

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