Stay WITH or Stay AT?
One of my students was telling me about a trip her daughter will take to America this summer. I asked her where she will stay and we practiced using some English prepositions.
My daughter is going to New York next week. She will stay with a friend at her family home so I’m not worried.
The basic pattern is:
|We stay WITH people|
|She will stay with a friend…|
|We stay AT a place|
|…at her family home.|
WITH and AT preposition definitions
One way we use the preposition with is – in the company of someone
“She will stay with her classmate.” – She will stay in the company of her classmate
The preposition with LINK
One way we use the preposition at is – where something happens
“She will stay at a beachside hotel.” The hotel is the place where she will stay.
The preposition at LINK
The verb STAY
Stay is an intransitive verb LINK
Infinitive – TO STAY
I just want to stay in bed today.
Present simple – STAY
I stay at the Prince Hotel whenever I go to Hawaii.
Present simple Third-person singular – STAYS
Thomas always stays with his brother when he comes to Toronto.
Past simple – STAYED
I stayed at a budget hotel near the airport, but it was very dirty.
Past participle – STAYED
Denise has never stayed at a budget hotel, only the best for her!
…has never stayed… is the perfect tense. HAVE/HAS + the past participle. Learn more about perfect tense grammar HERE]
Continuous tense – STAYING
Keith is staying with his parents during his visit. You can reach him there.
Stay with and Stay at – example sentences
Staying with friends and relatives is cheaper than staying at a hotel.
A: “When you visit Canada will you stay with your parents?”
B: “Their new house is quite small so I’ll stay at a hotel this time.”
I just want a place to sleep, I don’t need to stay at a fancy hotel with a pool, a spa, or a gym.
You can stay with me. I have an extra room. (Person)
You can stay at my place. I have an extra room. (Place)
I used Air BnB when I went to Seattle, I stayed at a retired couple’s house for 3 days. The room was very nice.
Air BnB is a place to find private homes that rent out spare rooms for a lower price than a hotel.
For this example, we used the preposition at because we are talking about the retired couple’s home. (place)
It would still be okay to say “I stayed with a retired couple.” For me though, this is not as natural. The homeowners are not friends or family. This is still a business activity, it’s just at a private house. The preposition with doesn’t fit this situation for me.
Find more ways to use the preposition AT here:
Verbs with prepositions TO and AT – Easy Grammar (Video+PDF)
Check out these other great English Preposition posts!
- English Prepositions with Verbs ending in -ING (+ Video)
- 50 of the Most Common English Prepositions (Examples + PDF)
- Nouns + Prepositions – 75 Examples + Video (Intermediate)
- General English Preposition Quiz (Test your Knowledge)
- Adjectives + Prepositions (95 Combinations + Video)
- How to Use the prepositions IN AT ON (Graphics, Story, Videos)
- ON time or IN time? (Learn FAST with Video)