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I need to know which word I should use in this case:

James is still using my car

or

James keeps using my car

If they are both correct so what's the difference?

2 Answers 2

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If someone keeps [on] doing something, they do it repeatedly in a way you find annoying or surprising.

So, you might say "James is still using my car" if you had made an arrangement to lend it to him or let him use it on certain occasions, and the arrangement was still in place.

You might say "James keeps using my car" if he repeatedly borrowed it when you wished he wouldn't.

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  • May I say that "keep" in that sentance has kind of a negative meaning? Dec 21, 2022 at 10:26
  • Yes - as I said, it usually implies disapproval. Dec 21, 2022 at 10:33
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The obvious difference is "keep" is a verb and "still" is an adverb, but you're probably not asking about that. But that difference makes it difficult to directly compare them. Here's my best shot.

Functionally, your two example sentences are the same and could refer to the same situation. They do carry different nuances though.

The version with "still" carries the nuance that you expected that he would have stopped using your car by now.

The version with "keeps" carries the nuance that James is deciding to keep using the car. It gives James agency in the sentence, where the "still" version just describes a situation that hasn't stopped.

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