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Can I use "stead" in the same context as

What would you do if you were in her shoes?

What would you do in her stead?

Or what's the best way to ask this question ?

Thanks

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    Don't use stead in such contexts. It's at the very least "dated", if not "stilted", unless you're going to use the idiomatically well-established What would you do instead? (i.e. - as an alternative course of action, rather than if it were me, not her). – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jun 7 '17 at 15:18
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    @FumbleFingers has the right of it. 'In her shoes' is used to establish empathy. 'In her stead' is used when you are replacing her. For example, "She was out of town, so I watched her dog in her stead." – Tofystedeth Jun 7 '17 at 18:15
  • @Tofystedeth: I think you've nailed the key semantic difference there. Holly Golightly wouldn't have got far with Try being me. Walk a mile in my stead - it's about empathy, not replacement. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jun 7 '17 at 18:23
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In your example

What would you do if you were in her shoes?

means

What would you do if you were she?

However, your use of "stead" is not quite right

What would you do in her stead?

which you might mean as

What would you do (if you were) her instead?
what would you do if you were in her place

which is different than

If you do well, it will keep you in good stead.
if you do well, it will keep you in a favorable light.

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    The word "stead" means "locality, place", so "in her stead" means "in her place". This expression is now rare, but is not incorrect. Nowadays we meet the word "stead" as parts of other words and expressions such as "homestead", "bedstead", and of course "instead of" (in the stead of). – David42 Jun 7 '17 at 18:29
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"In her shoes" is a relatively modern idiom, and can mean imagining yourself in her position, or were her, putting yourself completely in that situation. Sometimes people use it to mean imagining that you yourself would be in the same situation, but still yourself, and sometimes they mean to imagine yourself actually as the person.

"In her stead", in the way you have used it, is stilted, feels slightly archaic, and has different emotional overtones, but the expression gets used sometimes in slightly different ways where it seems fancy, but not weird. "She couldn't make it, so I'll be standing in her stead" is equivalent to "she couldn't make it, so I'll be standing in for her". The latter would be more usual, but the first seems gently archaic and poetic. You could not use "in her shoes" in that case.

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