Difference Between Keep and Put


Main Difference

The main difference between Keep and Put is that Keep represents long-term action, whereas Put represents short-term action.

Keep vs. Put

‘Keep’ means to store or to place, whereas ‘put’ means to set or to lay. ‘Keep’ is used for a long duration or customary acts, while ‘put’ is used for short duration or non-customary acts. The past participle of ‘keep’ is changed form of ‘keep,’ which is “kept.” On the other hand, the past participle of ‘put’ is called ‘put,’ which is an unchanged form of ‘put.’

To have possession of an object, or to place an object at any place, or to continue doing something are included in usage of ‘keep.’ On the flip side, to move something to someplace is included in the usage of ‘put.’ ‘Keep’ also refers to have something in control or something that must remain in a particular state, whereas ‘put’ belongs to expression and articulation of something in the form of words.


‘Keep’ may also be used to give instructions or to forbid someone from doing something. On the flip side, ‘put’ cannot be used for giving instructions or threats. ‘Keep’ is obsolete care, whereas ‘put’ is an obsolete prostitute.

‘Keep’ can be used for uninterrupted locating of an object, whereas ‘put’ can represent a command to tell someone to do something sometimes. ‘Keep’ is more about holding something, whereas ‘put’ is more about placing something.

When you usually or always do an action, ‘keep’ is used, i.e., “I keep my business card in my pocket.” Conversely, if you did an act for the first time, ‘put’ is used, i.e., “I once put my business card into the drawer.”


Comparison Chart

To possess something or continue doing an action is called ‘keep.’To place something somewhere or to locate an object is called ‘put.’
Customary actionNon-customary action
Time Required
Long-time actShort-time act
Past Participle
For persistent action or possessionFor changing location or moving things
Usual or frequent actionUnusual or unfrequent action
Jill keeps stalking me whatever I do.Jack put all the washed dishes in order.

What is Keep?

‘Keep’ is called as having possessions, placing an object somewhere frequently, and continue acting the way you are already. ‘Keep’ is a transitive verb, which means to retain the original position, to put aside an object, or to detain someone somewhere.

‘Keep’ also means to have possessions and to maintain the original records or conditions at a certain time. The definition of ‘keep’ may also include delaying, supporting, fulfilling, or honoring, preventing, protecting, and guarding, etc.

To raise or to care for someone also refers to the meanings of ‘keep.’ It also explains the idea of the establishment of or institution. The word ‘keep’ indicates the meanings of conducting and managing too.


  • As a Verb: To continue, to hold, to have possession, to maintain position, to record transactions, to enter accounts or records, to confine, to restrain, and to protect, etc.
  • As a Noun: To notice, to take care, to heed, charge, and be in charge.


  • You are allowed to keep the change and earn honestly.
  • He keeps his dishes on the safe side of the cabinet.
  • Ali tries to keep his word. Therefore, he is considered a gentleman.
  • Johnny keeps his belongings on his table.
  • The teachers and the principal keep the record of every child.
  • Keep your hands of this lunch box for your goodness.
  • Faraz keeps smoking when he already knows smoking kills.
  • My mother keeps nagging me to study hard.
  • We try to keep away from our relatives because they are quite stingy.

What is Put?

To place something in a specific position is called ‘put.’ ‘Put’ refers to the actions, which are short duration or non-customary. ‘Put’ is a transitive verb which means to place or locate. To cause to be and to cause to hold are included in the meanings of the word ‘put.’

‘Put’ is also used to express, articulate, or emphasize something. It can be used to interpret the ideas of investing and estimating. The ranking or scaling of something according to its performance is explained by using put.

The word ‘put’ can reflect the concepts of writing, contributing, presenting, and assigning. To add something into an object is referred through ‘put.’ ‘Put’ also describes its usage in bets and sports.


  • As a Verb: To locate something somewhere temporarily, to set an object in certain state or condition, to express something in a specific manner, to attach or attribute, to bring the attention, to set someone for judgment in the form of acceptance or rejection, etc.
  • As a Noun: selling something at a reasonable price, putting an action, a thrust, or a movement, etc.


  • Put my handkerchief on the sofa.
  • I have already put your socks in a laundry basket.
  • I will be very gratified if you put me on the senior football team.
  • My aunt put his daughter in her crib.
  • Most parents put their children in boarding schools for better education.
  • Ali punished the student by putting him under the desk.
  • To put it expressively, you did not prepare well for the exams.

Key Differences

  1. ‘Keep’ means to store or to place, whereas ‘put’ means to locate or to lay.
  2. ‘Keep’ refers to long-duration actions, while ‘put’ refers to short-duration actions.
  3. ‘Keep’ mostly shows the acts, which are usual or frequent in daily routine. On the other hand, ‘put’ shows the acts, which are unusual or infrequent in daily routine.
  4. The past term for ‘keep’ is changed into kept. Conversely, the past term for ‘put’ is unchanged and remains the same, which is ‘put.’
  5. The past participle for ‘keep’ is also changed to ‘kept.’ Contrarily, the past participle for ‘put’ remains unchanged.
  6. ‘Keep’ describes the meanings of retaining, detaining, and restoring into the original position, whereas ‘put’ describes the meanings of locating and expressing.
  7. ‘Keep’ is also used in protecting and preventing sense. On the flip side, ‘put’ is used in investing and estimating sense.
  8. ‘Keep’ is used to show waiting and continuation of the act. In contrast, ‘put’ is used to contribute, to write, and to present.
  9. ‘Keep’ shows persistence in doing something, whereas ‘put’ shows abruptness, thrust, and sudden movement.
  10. ‘Keep’ is simply used for comprehensively placing something. Conversely, ‘put’ shows emphasis on putting something at a specific location.
  11. Continuous positioning of an object is called ‘keep,’ whereas commanding someone to place something somewhere is called ‘put.’
  12. ‘Keep’ can be used to give particular instructions followed by back, off, and out, etc. On the other hand, ‘put’ is used for the expression of events in the form of words.


The act of placing something somewhere for a long time is called ‘keep,’ whereas the act of placing something somewhere for a short time is called ‘put.’ ‘Keep’ can be used for the continuation of a process, retaining, detaining, and protecting the way, while ‘put’ is used for causing something to be in a specific condition.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson