Please imagine someone draws their shoulders towards each other and lowers their chin towards their chest. What they are doing? For more clarification please have a look on my added pics and let me know what a mother should say to her children when they "sit" or "stand" like these: enter image description here enter image description here

1.a. Don't slouch. Sit straight.
1.b. Don't hunch. Sit straight.
1.c. Don't hunch over. Sit straight.


2.a. Don't slouch. Stand straight.
2.b. Don't hunch. Stand straight.
2.c. Don't hunch over. Stand straight.

Bringing up this question I needed to enquire whether these verbs mean the same and are interchangeable or not. If not, then how do they differ in meaning, connotation and usage?

Also, I wonder what are the standard forms of these two sentences?

1 Answer 1


You are correct on all counts. The sentences are interchangeable and correctly used. In this specific case, since the person might not be aware of their own behavior, you might need to demonstrate what you mean. (Hunch over and then stand up straight.)

  • Thank you @Edward Barnard, but I was wondering whether you could clarify your meaning. Do you mean that "hunch", "hunch over" and "slouch" mean the same.
    – A-friend
    Aug 29, 2019 at 16:21
  • @A-friend Yes, in describing those photos, they mean the same. "Hunch" more specifically refers to bringing shoulders forward, at the same time curving spine. Slouch refers to non-upright posture. Aug 29, 2019 at 16:32
  • But @Wdward Barnard I heard that "slouching" would be more like someone leaning back or half-lying on a sofa. Slouching tends to suggest paying no attention to anything, lazing. You can slouch when you walk, which might mean having your shoulders drooped and your hands in your pockets, looking at the ground - but the sloucher is not usually intent on something like my photos. Hence, I think they should be different and definitely I think my pics are more about "hunching" rather than "slouching". The only point that I don't know is the difference between "hunching" and "hunching over"!
    – A-friend
    Aug 29, 2019 at 17:58
  • "slouching" implies poor posture due to being lazy. You are correct. Leaning back or reclining on a sofa is not necessarily slouching. "Hunching over" implies an object, as in hunching over something, but could also mean what's in your second photo (part of the body is bent over). Aug 29, 2019 at 18:03

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