Context: "They struggled to keep (to) (the) rule, not letting some students go out in recess or using corporal punishment."

Is "keep rule" a common set phrase in AmE? I've found the phrase in an autobiography.

1 Answer 1


As a mass noun, Lexico gives

Control of or dominion over an area or people.
There is no stipulation of a time limit for US political rule and economic control over the country's resources.

It isn't a very common way of saying 'keep control'.

"Keep to rule" is like "working to rule", that is, strictly by the book.

"Keep the rule" refers to practising a particular rule.

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