I have heard both of the sentences below in quite similar cases. I wonder if you could let me know how can I distinguish between them and how they differ in meaning? do they mean the same thing?

1) Keep your promise.
2) Stand by your promise.

Or I've heard many times they say:

3) I'll keep my word.
4) I'll stand by my word.

I wonder if you could let me know more about these structures.

Thank you.

1 Answer 1


They mean exactly the same thing in this sentence, even though Merriam Webster's descriptions may seem a little confusing...


transitive verb

2 : to take notice of by appropriate conduct : FULFILL: such as

a : to be faithful to

// keep a promise

stand by:

transitive verb

: to remain loyal or faithful to : DEFEND

// stood by his decision

  • Thank you @TypelA. Then can we say that the sentences below mean the same too: "I still stand by what I said" = "I still keep what I said" Right?
    – A-friend
    May 22, 2019 at 6:13
  • 1
    @A-friend No, "I still keep what I said" is wrong. I'm very sorry that I can't explain why - it just is! "I still stand by what I said" is fine and idiomatic.
    – TypeIA
    May 22, 2019 at 8:38
  • 1
    After thinking about it a bit, I can't think of any other word that goes with this meaning of "keep." "To keep a promise" seems to be a unique phrase. (There are other meanings of "keep" that go with other words, such as "to keep watch (over)" but that's a different meaning.) On the other hand "to stand by" in this sense can go with anything.
    – TypeIA
    May 22, 2019 at 8:49

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