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Keep vs. Keep On: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sumera Saeed || By Sara Rehman || Published on December 31, 2023
"Keep" means to maintain or hold, while "keep on" implies continuing an action without stopping.

Key Differences

"Keep" generally refers to holding onto or maintaining something, like keeping a promise. In contrast, "keep on" suggests a continuous action, such as keep on walking, implying ongoing movement or activity.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023
In usage, "keep" can denote possession or maintenance of a state, like keeping something safe. "Keep on," however, often appears in more dynamic contexts, signifying the persistence of an action, like keep on trying.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023
The word "keep" can be versatile, used in various contexts from physical holding to emotional states. "Keep on," on the other hand, is more specific to actions and often used in motivational or persistent scenarios.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 31, 2023
"Keep" can function independently as a verb, but "keep on" typically requires an object or action to follow, emphasizing the action's continuation.
Harlon Moss
Dec 31, 2023
In a grammatical sense, "keep" is a standalone verb, whereas "keep on" is a phrasal verb, adding the preposition "on" to denote ongoing action.
Harlon Moss
Dec 31, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Verb Type

Standalone Verb
Phrasal Verb
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

Usage

Maintenance, Holding
Continuing Action
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

Context

General, Diverse
Dynamic, Action-Oriented
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

Dependency on Objects

Can be independent
Often needs an object/action
Janet White
Dec 31, 2023

Connotation

Static, Possessive
Dynamic, Persistent
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023
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Keep and Keep On Definitions

Keep

To maintain possession.
Keep the book safe.
Sara Rehman
Dec 02, 2023

Keep On

To proceed without interruption.
Keep on working.
Sara Rehman
Dec 02, 2023

Keep

To continue to have something.
Keep your focus.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 02, 2023

Keep On

To continue an action.
Keep on running.
Sara Rehman
Dec 02, 2023

Keep

To hold or detain.
Keep the door closed.
Sara Rehman
Dec 02, 2023

Keep On

To persist in an activity.
Keep on studying.
Sara Rehman
Dec 02, 2023

Keep

To preserve or maintain.
Keep the peace.
Sara Rehman
Dec 02, 2023

Keep On

To not stop doing something.
Keep on singing.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 02, 2023

Keep

To adhere to.
Keep your word.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 02, 2023

Keep On

To maintain a course.
Keep on the path.
Sara Rehman
Dec 02, 2023

Keep

To retain possession of
Kept the change.
Must keep your composure.
Sara Rehman
Dec 01, 2023

Keep

To have as a supply
Keep spare parts in case of emergency.
Sara Rehman
Dec 01, 2023

FAQs

What does "keep" mean?

"Keep" means to maintain or hold something.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

Can "keep" be used without an object?

Yes, "keep" can be used independently, like in "keep safe."
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

Can "keep" denote emotional states?

Yes, "keep" can refer to emotional states, like "keep calm."
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

Can "keep" be used in legal contexts?

Yes, "keep" can be used in legal contexts, like "keep custody."
Aimie Carlson
Dec 31, 2023

Is "keep on" a phrasal verb?

Yes, "keep on" is a phrasal verb indicating ongoing action.
Janet White
Dec 31, 2023

How is "keep on" different from "keep"?

"Keep on" implies continuing an action, while "keep" is about maintaining or holding.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 31, 2023

Does "keep" have a static connotation?

"Keep" often has a static or possessive connotation, like "keep a secret."
Janet White
Dec 31, 2023

Is "keep on" more dynamic than "keep"?

Yes, "keep on" is generally more dynamic, indicating continued action.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

Can "keep" be used in commands?

Yes, "keep" is often used in commands, like "keep quiet."
Harlon Moss
Dec 31, 2023

Is "keep" commonly used in everyday language?

Yes, "keep" is a common verb in everyday usage.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

Is "keep on" used for persistent actions?

Yes, "keep on" is often used to suggest persistence, like "keep on trying."
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

Are there idiomatic uses of "keep"?

Yes, "keep" has idiomatic uses, like "keep up with."
Aimie Carlson
Dec 31, 2023

Can "keep" indicate preservation?

Yes, "keep" can suggest preservation, like "keep traditions alive."
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

Does "keep on" require an additional verb?

Yes, "keep on" typically requires a following action, like "keep on walking."
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

Is "keep on" used in specific scenarios?

"Keep on" is often used in scenarios requiring ongoing effort or action.
Harlon Moss
Dec 31, 2023

Can "keep" be used in formal writing?

Yes, "keep" is suitable for both formal and informal contexts.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

Can "keep on" be motivational?

Yes, "keep on" can be used motivationally, like in "keep on going."
Harlon Moss
Dec 31, 2023

Is "keep on" versatile in usage?

"Keep on" is less versatile than "keep," often related to actions.
Janet White
Dec 31, 2023

Does "keep on" imply a long-term action?

Often, "keep on" implies a longer duration or ongoing process.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

Does "keep on" always need an object?

"Keep on" usually requires an object or action to follow.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.
Edited by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.

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