Stick with

To 'stick with' something is to continue it despite difficulties

Today's story: Covid changes
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Stick with

To “stick with” something is to continue doing it despite challenges.

We’re going to use this phrasal verb when there’s ongoing activity that requires our commitment. And it’s not always easy to continue doing it. There are sometimes roadblocks, there are sometimes challenges, that make it hard to continue doing this thing.

The way we form it is like this. “Stick with” plus an activity. The activity is a noun, not a verb.

It’s a good idea to see a professional if you struggle with stress, anxiety, or depression. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people saw a mental health professional for the first time. But it can be hard to carve out an hour a week to see a therapist—plus transportation and logistics to the therapist’s office.

And so, you might start seeing a therapist, but you might find it difficult to stick with your treatment. That means, it’s tough to continue your treatment. One way to make this easier is to either see the therapist online every time or to mix in-person visits with online visits when necessary. This hybrid approach can help patients stick with their treatment.

Pay attention to how this worked. Stick with, plus an activity. This hybrid approach can help patients stick with their treatment. The treatment is the activity. It helps them continue this activity, despite challenges around scheduling and finding the time to attend the sessions.

You can use this with medication. If you go on a new medication and it’s expensive or it has side effects, you have to decide whether you’ll go off the medication or stick with the medication. If you stick with the medication, or stick with the treatment, you continue taking it.

“Stick with a diet” or “stick with an exercise routine” – these are both common ways of using “stick with.” You can’t expect to get immediate results from a new fitness routine. You need to stick with it to see results. You need to continue doing it, even if it’s challenging, even if you don’t see results right away.

Are you a musical person? I’m not. I never played an instrument as a kid, and I can’t play one now. I never really wanted to, either. What does it take to dominate an instrument, like the piano or the violin? It takes lots of practice. You have to play a lot of bad notes, you have to make a lot of mistakes, before you can get good. So you have to stick with it.

That’s another thing you can say, if the activity is already clear or understood from the sentence. “You have to stick with it” means, you have to continue doing the activity, even if it’s hard. So, we were talking about the piano or the violin. You already had the context. I said, “You have to stick with it.” That means, “If you want to get good, you have to stick with the piano” or “You have to stick with your lessons.”

You can stick with a new schedule or stick with a new process. Change can be hard. And sometimes after making a change, you doubt whether you can stick with it. It’s not clear whether you’ll continue with the change or not.

Imagine you decide to start work an hour earlier—you get to your desk at 7:30 instead of 8:30. That was fun the first week, when you were energized to finish earlier. But the second week, you have to decide: Will you stick with the new schedule? Will you continue doing it? It might be hard to wake up an hour earlier.

Sticking with something may be a good idea. Or it may be a bad idea. I’m not passing any judgments on this example. But a few weeks ago, you heard about a computer system used in the Post Offices in the United Kingdom. The accounting system had mistakes in it—and as a result of the mistakes, hundreds of local store owners were accused of stealing money .

Many of those shop owners paid large fines; some went to jail; a few committed suicide. Suffice to say, the computer system had some challenges. But for whatever reason the Post Office decided to stick with the system, despite its flaws. The vendor who sold it to them said they had fixed the errors.

See you next time!

That’s all for today. Good job to all of you, who are sticking with English. I know it’s not easy, the progress can seem slow, it’s a lot of work, it can be frustrating. But stick with it, stick with your studies, stick with us, and you’ll see progress over the long run.

We’ll be back on Monday with a new story. See you then.

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Story: Covid changes