I read the sentence on the tag of a honey container.

Please store upright below 25°C.

I looked it up. Upright as an adjective can mean:


  1. vertical or erect
  2. honest, honourable, or just

It seems the sense just is fit, but I'm not sure. What does it truly mean?

  • 1
    Definition 1 is literal; definition 2 is figurative. – Jasper Aug 15 '18 at 1:50
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    @Jasper, now I get it immediately after I saw the answer below. I just parsed the sentence wrongly. I feel a bit awkward now. :( – dan Aug 15 '18 at 2:11
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    @Jasper, As a Chinese, I also didn't realize it at the first time, haha. I just thought about the second meaning "just". Please store it just below 25 degree. – Zhang Aug 15 '18 at 3:15
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    @Jasper In Chinese, the sentence bearing such a meaning, definitely should be splitted into 2 parts. Please store it upright and below 25 ... I think that linguistic difference caused the misunderstanding. – Zhang Aug 15 '18 at 3:21
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    As a native speaker of British English, I don't think the sentence is particularly well-written: it doesn't parse easily and gives the impression of two adverbs smashed together with no regard to grammar. "Please store upright, and below 25C", "Please store below 25C and in an upright position", or even "Please store upright**,** below 25C" would have been better (in my opinion). – user234461 Aug 15 '18 at 10:58

It means the first one, or in a vertical position, vertically since it's used as an adverb in this example. That's the literal meaning. Basically, it's implying not to store it sideways. Also, just using common sense (aside from the dictionary meaning), it suggests to me not to store it upside down (if there is such a distinction).

Like this:
enter image description here

Not like this:
enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

The just in that definition refers to (M-W):

2 a (1) : acting or being in conformity with what is morally upright or good : righteous • a just war

It is synonymous with "honest, honourable" in the definition you cited. It is not meant as

2 a : by a very small margin : barely • just too late
b : immediately, directly • just west of here

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    Now I get it! Originally, I parsed the sentence incorrectly. I parsed it as: {Please store} [upright below 25°C], I thought "upright below 25°C" together means something related to temperature! The issue is due to my unfamiliarity of English conventions. – dan Aug 15 '18 at 2:07
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    Yes, I could see why you thought "just" could fit. This is why we ask for context. :) – Em. Aug 15 '18 at 3:57
  • On the other hand, I think 'upright' here is more like an adjectival usage other than adverbial, because it denotes to store it in the state of being upright. Any thought? – dan Aug 15 '18 at 11:26
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    @dan No, it's an adverb. As an adjective, the usage would be something like "Store in an upright position", modifying the noun "position". Here, it's modifying the verb "store", not the implied object of "store". – chepner Aug 15 '18 at 13:11

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