Session 4

Vocabulary: 10 uses of 'stay'

Enjoy our version of Daphne du Maurier's Jamaica Inn - and learn 10 different ways to use the word 'stay'

Sessions in this unit

Session 4 score

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    Activity 1
  • 0 / 5
    Activity 2

Activity 1

Jamaica Inn part one - 6 uses of 'stay'

Strange things are happening on the bleak and windy moors...
The English word stay has many meanings and uses. In this session, we bring you BBC Learning English's own version of the classic story Jamaica Inn - and we've found many different ways to use the word stay in it. 

To do

As you watch part one of the story, listen out for the different uses of the word stay - and decide whether this summary of the story is correct or wrong:

  • Mary is afraid that her uncle Joss and his brother Jem can not be trusted so she avoids both of them.

Watch the video and complete the activity

Show transcript Hide transcript

Hello, I'm Mariam. Today's story is set on the bleak and windy moors of Cornwall, and features a young strong woman who witnesses some strange goings on when she goes to live in a pub called Jamaica Inn.

The woman is called Mary and after her mother dies she goes to stay with her aunt at Jamaica Inn. It's a cold and lonely place and is run by her scary and abusive uncle, Joss. Mary's aunt tells her to stay out of his way. Mary soon realises that Jamaica Inn is not a nice place to live but she decides to stay on to look after her aunt – and then things start to happen.

The Inn is a quiet place because nobody chooses to stay over due to its terrible reputation, but one Saturday night, a noisy group of Joss's friends come to drink. They're very rude to Mary and she goes to hide in her bedroom. That night she stays up to see what's going on, and out of her window, she sees horses and wagons moving in the yard. She also hears Joss arguing with another man, who he then hits – knocking him to the floor. Mary doesn't like what she sees, and the next day, she tells the local magistrate, Squire Bassat. He searches the Inn for any clues but finds nothing. She then meets the local vicar, Mr Davey, who she confides in – but he tells her that she doesn't know enough about Joss and shouldn't involve the law.

Later, Mary meets a man called Jem who turns out to be Joss's brother. She is suspicious of him and decides to stay away from him, but after a while she realises he can be trusted and they spend some happy time together at a horse fair, where Jem sells ponies. However, at the end of the fair, Jem disappears and Mary is worried he's been arrested for selling stolen ponies. She runs back to the Inn across the dark and wet countryside. When she gets back, she is met by Joss and his gang of drunken men – they are up to no good.

I'll leave the story there for now. But join me in again in part two to find out what Joss and his friends are up to. Bye for now.

To do

How was that? The summary wasn't quite right - Mary doesn't trust Joss and Jem at first, but later she begins to trust Jem.

Have a go at our quiz to check you know the first 6 uses of stay.

Jamaica Inn - the story so far...

4 Questions

Let's check your understanding of the story - and the words and phrases with stay. Decide whether each statement about the story is true or false. Look at the vocabulary box if you need help.

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Stay with us to find out what happens to Mary! Go to the next page to hear part two - and to learn some more uses of stay! See you there.

Session Vocabulary

  • stay (A2)
    live in a place for a short time

    stay out of his way (C1)
    avoid him

    stay on (C1)
    continue to be in a place

    stay over (B2)
    sleep in a place for the night instead of going home

    stays up (B2)
    doesn't go to bed at the usual time

    stay away from (C1)


    A1 = Beginner
    A2 = Elementary
    B1 = Lower Intermediate
    B2 = Higher Intermediate
    C1 = Towards Advanced
    C2 = Advanced