I came across this sentence somewhere and could you tell me which one is correct?

It takes a lot from within to stand for who we really are.
It takes a lot from within to stand up for who we really are.

  • Is there some reason to believe that both are not correct?
    – Davo
    Sep 3, 2020 at 13:40
  • 1
    The phrasal verb to stand up [to / for something] usually implies the subject defending [something, possibly, himself] against criticism or adversity. Whereas plain to stand [for something] normally just means to represent, with no particular implication of conflict or adversity. In some contexts those two meanings might overlap, but it's not obvious to me whether that applies with the specific examples here. You'd need to tell us exactly what meaning is intended. Sep 3, 2020 at 13:51

1 Answer 1


To clarify, we're really comparing "stand" vs "stand up", since both of your sentences have a for before "who we really are".

There is a very subtle difference in terms of emphasis. "Stand up" emphasizes the beginning of whatever action (speaking up, protesting, petitions, etc) we're trying to symbolize by the word "stand". This is because we can change from not standing to standing by going up. On the other hand, "stand" emphasizes the duration / continuation of this action.

For your sentences, I would understand the first one to be used as a motivational quote for anyone that's looking for reason to continue standing for who they really are. The second one sounds like motivation to start standing for who they really are. But at the end of the day, I would expect both to get across the same message, and I don't expect a person to not keep standing / not stand up simply because one of these sentences was used instead of the other.

  • Nice answer, but I don't see how "stand up" emphasizes a beginning. I can stand up in support of something for which I've already been standing for years.
    – Davo
    Sep 3, 2020 at 13:44

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