English Language Learners Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of other languages learning English. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I understand the usage of "stand" in these:

1 "The review board let the decision stand"
2 "The offer/agreement still stands"
3 "They allow the ruling to stand"

But I am confused about a phrase I found on the web:

"The government let an injustice stand"

An injustice is not something official. It is just an action. So, how does it "stand"? Could it be an error? Is there a dictionary definition that would fit this example?

share|improve this question
If we can "let something go", we should be able to say "let something stand" as well. – Damkerng T. May 3 '14 at 8:22

See 'stand' on Collins English Dictionary, specifically:


5. to be or exist in a specified state or condition

So, substituting:

The government let an injustice be

There's probably also an omitted, understood meaning, based on what would normally be expected:

The government let an injustice be (rather than rectify it)

share|improve this answer
But if the injustice refers to a past event, then the injustice certainly is already completed. So, it cannot possibly "continue in effect". – user6185 May 3 '14 at 6:01
@banner I probably didn't make it clear, I think that there's something else omitted there, which would be an understood meaning: "The government let an injustice continue (rather than rectify it)" – jimsug May 3 '14 at 6:02
@banner The better definition for this case may be to be or exist in a specified state or condition. "The government let a justice be (rather than rectify it). Does that clear things up? I will edit my answer. – jimsug May 3 '14 at 6:04

Officialness is not at all part of the definition of stand in this (or any?) sense.

It means to not be changed. For instance, someone might consider editing an ELL.SE post, but decide to let it stand, meaning deciding not to change it and leaving it as it is.

The closest English synonyms are "endure", "persist", and "abide", though they are only approximate.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.