Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Hello. This is Gill, here, at www.engvid.com. And today, we're going to have a lesson on the use of the verb "to keep". Okay? It's a verb that's used a lot in English, so it's a very useful word to know, and to know how to use it. And it can actually be used in different ways, in slightly different ways, different meanings. So I'm just going to show you three of those main ways of using the verb "to keep" in this lesson. Okay. First of all, to explain how "to keep" is different from the verb "to hold". Sometimes people get them confused. "To hold". Okay, I'm at the moment, I'm holding, holding a pen or a board marker. I may not keep it. If I take it home with me, that means I keep it. But if I leave it in this classroom when I go, I did not keep it. I'm holding it now, but I will not be keeping it. I leave it here. Okay, so with "to hold", for example, you can ask somebody... You're holding your bag, you need to put your coat on. You can't do both, so you ask somebody: "Can you hold my bag while I put my coat on?" Okay? And then: "Thank you." You have your bag back again. They give it back. So they hold the bag, it's temporary. Just like me holding this pen is temporary; I will be putting it back on the table at the end of the session. So "to hold" is a temporary thing. Just holding something. Okay? So, that's "to hold". So now let's have a look at the first meaning of the verb "to keep", which means something like to... To retain. Like I was saying, if I retain this, if I keep it, I take it home with me and never... Never give it back to the person it belongs to, which is stealing. So we can't do that. Can we? No. Okay. So, you can say to somebody... Say you... If I... If this did belong to me, if this was my pen, but somebody else said: "Oh, isn't that a lovely pen? I need a pen like that. Oh." So I would say: "Oh, well, if you... Here you are. You can use it, and if you like it, you can keep it. Okay? I've got lots more pens like this, so you're very welcome to have it. You can keep it." So if you like it, the pen, you can keep it. And you keep it, you take it home with you. You use it. It's then your pen. It was my pen. Now it's your pen. You kept it. So, past tense: "kept". Irregular verb. Right. Okay. Next example... For example, maybe I've broken my leg or something, and it's the summer. I can't go swimming for the whole of the summer because I've broken my leg. Right? So I don't need my swimsuit for the whole of the summer. So... But a friend of mine really, really, really wants to go swimming, and she's going on holidays soon, and the hotel has a swimming pool. It's near the sea. She doesn't have a swimsuit. So, I can't use my swimsuit; I've broken my leg. So, I say to her: "Here is my swimsuit - you can keep it for the summer, but I will need to have it back in September." Okay? Because my leg will be better in September, and I will want to start swimming again. So, keeping can be temporary if you say: "You can keep it for the summer,"-okay?-"but I will need to have it back"-you have to give it back to me-"in September." Okay? Right? And similarly, if you go in a taxi and you have to pay the taxi driver... Terribly expensive, but anyway. If you're feeling generous and you've got lots of money to spare, you can say: "I told the taxi driver to keep the change." Let's say the taxi fare was, in UK money, 8.50. Okay? And you gave him a £10 note, and you said to him: "Keep the change." You didn't want £1.50 back from him; you were happy to give him a £10 note and let him keep the change. Not give you any change. It's what you call a "tip". You gave the taxi driver a tip. Okay? So, keep the change. alright? And then finally, for this section: "You can keep your things in this drawer." Maybe you start a new job and you're on the first day, you're taken to your desk: "This is where you're going to be sitting. Here's your computer. There's a drawer here. You can keep your things in this drawer." So all of your pens, pencils, paper for writing on, anything, your diary, everything you need for your job to stop the table... The desk looking untidy. You can put the things in the drawer. "You can keep your things in this drawer." Okay. That's sort of fairly permanent: keep things in the drawer for the length of the time that you're going to be working there, so hopefully a nice long time, and hopefully a nice enjoyable job. Okay. Right, so we'll now move on to look at another aspect of the verb "to keep". We have three sentences here. For example: "He keeps his car in good condition." Okay? So your friend has car, he looks after it very well. He keeps it clean, keeps it clean. He looks after it. If it needs to be repaired, he takes it to the garage. He doesn't neglect the car. He really takes care of it. So: "He keeps his car in good condition." It's like saying: "He maintains his car in good condition." Okay? Secondly: "Do you keep a diary?" Right? So that's a slightly different meaning of "keep". If you have a diary, maybe not just an appointment diary, but a diary, a journal where you write down things that happen each day and maybe make comments about things that happen. "Do you keep a diary?" Which means you go to your diary every day, every few days maybe, at least once a week to write a few things in your diary in a kind of regular way. So "to keep a diary", you write in a book regularly about your life. Okay. Right? And then finally, in this section: "Can you keep a secret?" Okay? This is something a friend might say to you. "Can you keep a secret? I'm going to tell you something now, but you've got to promise not to tell anybody else. Can you keep a secret?" Meaning keep it to yourself. Keep it, and don't share it with other people. Don't tell other people this secret thing. So, whatever it is, I don't know because it's a secret. Okay? But can you keep a secret? Has anybody ever told you a secret? And have you then gone and told other people, or have you kept it, kept it to yourself? Okay? It's tempting sometimes, isn't it? But you have to really try hard not to tell anybody else because you promised. Right. Okay. Right. Okay, moving on to another slightly different usage. This one, this is like the meaning being continuing, to continue. So, if you're in a car: "It's a long journey", you're going hundreds of miles. "It's a long journey", and you want to rest, you want to stop, you want to sleep, anything. But: "It's a long journey, but we must keep going." Keep going. So, to keep going is to continue. We can't stop. We have to be that... In that place by a certain time. We can't stop and rest. We've got to keep going. Keep going. Continue. Okay? And then similarly, you might still be in this car, and you say: "If we keep that tall building in sight, we won't get lost." Okay? You know, if you're in a strange city, maybe you're walking around, and you think: "Well, I need somewhere... Somewhere, a big building, a tall building that I can see from any part of the city, and then I will know where I am." Okay? So you keep the building in sight, meaning you can always see it. Keep it in sight or in view. If we keep it in sight, we won't get lost. Okay? And then this meaning here is more to do with preserving, like with food. You don't want the food to go bad. So: "The food will keep if you put it in the freezer." Okay? So, this is about preserving the food so that in a month's time, you can take it out of the freezer, you can cook it, you can eat it and it tastes good. Right, so food will keep if you put it in the freezer. Right? And then finally, this is a notice you might sometimes see if you're visiting a place that has lovely lawns, grass. So these are lawns. If it's beautifully cut green grass, and they don't want people walking on it all the time because it just goes muddy, you get brown patches, it looks horrible, so sometimes you have a sign that says: "KEEP OFF THE GRASS." Okay? Not even "please". It usually just says: "KEEP OFF THE GRASS." For it to say "please", they'd need to have a much longer notice, so: "KEEP OFF THE GRASS." It's an order. Right? So you cannot walk on the grass. Keep off the grass. Okay. So, I hope that little lesson was helpful to show you the different ways of using the verb "to keep". If you'd like to visit the website: www.engvid.com, there is a quiz there for you to test yourself on this. And also, if you'd like to subscribe to my YouTube channel if you would like to keep in touch with my lessons as they come out, that would be great. And hope to see you again soon. Okay. Bye for now.