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  1. #1
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Default stay put / tread water / keep one's head above water

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough tell me whether there is some likeness between the meaning of the following expressions “stay put” and “tread water”.

    I know that “stay put” means “ remain in a fixed or established position as in:

    “I’m coming, just stay put till I got there. “

    On the other hand if you are “treading water” you are “staying in the same place without making any progress” as well as “tread water” means “ expend effort that maintains one’s status but dos not make much progress toward a goal, as in:

    He was just treading water from paycheck to paycheck.
    People lose motivation if they think they are just treading water in their career.
    In these times well financed companies can afford to tread water and pick off suitable acquisitions without pressure.
    I may have to tread water in my career for some years because there is no chink of promotion in my business.
    As she sipped an aperitif it dawned on her that this would be the last social occasion which she and Luke would share, so why not just tread water ?

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards

    V

  2. #2
    eccampbell is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: stay put / tread water / keep one's head above water

    The two idioms can overlap in usage, but among your five cited examples for "tread water," to substitute with "stay put" seems really suitable only in the fourth one and somewhat suitable in the second. Both examples specify what manner of staying put with the phrase "in their/my career." In the other examples the connotation of staying put in a physical location might interfere with the intended meaning.

  3. #3
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: stay put / tread water / keep one's head above water

    Hi eccampbell,

    Thank you for your prompt reply as well as for your well-grounded explanation. I agree with your deduction.

    For your information the examples in question above concerning the idiom “treat water” were cited quite true at random.

    Regards

    V.

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