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Hello, I have been staying in Germany for the last few months. I am not sure if the way I ... with your parents", even if I knew that the other guy was not married. Am I correct in my usage?[/nq]I don't have any problem with the way you use "family", "parents", etc., but I find your examples have an unnatural sound to my ear, primarily because I'm not sure if you're using "stay" as I would use it, or with the meaning of "live". For me, and I suspect many people, "live" refers to the place where you live indefinitely when not on holiday or away on business, i.e. it has a long-term implication, whereas "stay" refers to a place where you live for a short period.

In practice, therefore, "stay" is most often used in continuous tenses "where are you staying?" or with reference to repeated short-term events "when you return to India do you stay with your parents?" Nonetheless,I have the impression that using "stay" in the sense that associate with "live" is common in some regions, maybe Scotland, but I don't remember where I've heard it.
athel

Athel Cornish-Bowden
http://bip.cnrs-mrs.fr/bip10/homepage.htm
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This usage is very common in the black community. "Stay" and "live" seem to be used interchangeably.
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> This usage is very common in the black community. "Stay" and "live" seem to be used interchangeably.

I doubt it. "Let's stay life to the fullest"? What's wrong with "dwell"? I mean really.
> This usage is very common in the black community. "Stay" and "live" seem to be used interchangeably.

That's very true. My wife, in her job as a case worker for the Health Department, sees most of her clients at their homes. When she first started doing this, she found it was very confusing when someone would say "I stay at..".
Hello, I have been staying in Germany for the last ... the first form of questioning be correct in written English?

'family' means different things at different times to different people. For some 'family' includes everyone they are related to. To ... Similarly, if someone said 'My family lives in Manchester' that would be unclear. 'My family comes from Manchester' is clearer.

Yes, your last statement, 'My family comes from Manchester', is unambigous. My problem is, I don't know how to answer questions like, 'Are you traveling to your family?' The answers that I can think of are -
* Yes; which does not guarantee that the one who asked the question and I share the same understanding.
* I am not married; which sounds unwarranted and probably rude. * I will be traveling to my parents; I think this answer is a bit like - 'Does this road lead to the library?' 'The library is next to the bakery.'
* Yes and no on a random basis :-D.
I also have a question with regard to what Joe Fineman notes in the other reply.
"Are you staying in this hotel?"
"No, I am staying with family."
Do you mean, family here refers to your cousins, uncles and aunts? And, "No, I a staying with a family", would mean, any family? I would have thought that the two sentences "No, I am staying with family", and "No, I am staying with a family" are equivalent.

- Confused,
Pradip
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I also have a question with regard to what Joe Fineman notes in the other reply. "Are you staying in ... that the two sentences "No, I am staying with family", and "No, I am staying with a family" are equivalent.

"A family" would, to me, imply that the people were not related to me. If I visit Sweden, I might stay with a family there, rather than in a hostel or hotel. I have no relatives in Sweden that I know of.
If I say I am staying with family, whoever I'm imposing on will be related to me in some fashion. I just returned from a vacation where I spent some nights in my mother's house, some in my sister's. I was staying with family on that trip.

I happened to spend one weekend (not with family, in that case) in south-central Wisconsin, and on a whim I went seeking the elusive Pat Durkin, with no success. The phone book was not revealing.

Dane is a very little town; I would have thought it easy enough to find information about him, but on a Sunday afternoon it proved difficult to find anyone about, at least in the time I had available.

rzed
"Are you staying in this hotel?" "No, I am staying with family." Do you mean, family here refers to your ... that the two sentences "No, I am staying with family", and "No, I am staying with a family" are equivalent.

"With a family" would mean "as a guest in a private house where a family lives". This definitely excludes, I think, any member of my own family, however defined: for example, a school pupil on an exchange visit to another country would probably stay "with a family". The guest might or might not pay the family - I think usually not, though probably his/her own family would entertain a guest in return at some "reverse" exchange. If the guest were staying for a considerable time and paying for his/her lodging, but eating and socialising with the family, he/she would be a "paying guest" living "en famille".
"With family" would mean "as a guest of at least one member of my own family". That would not necessarily mean a whole family, however defined, and not necessarily a close relative such as a parent or sibling. So if I stayed in his apartment with a second cousin once-removed whom I had never met before, I should still be staying "with family".

So the two expressions are not interchangeable, at least in BrE.

Alan Jones
'family' means different things at different times to different people. ... would be unclear. 'My family comes from Manchester' is clearer.

Yes, your last statement, 'My family comes from Manchester', is unambigous. My problem is, I don't know how to answer ... sentences "No, I am staying with family", and "No, I am staying with a family" are equivalent. - Confused, Pradip

You've definitely made a fine choice of language to be confused in. May I congratulate you on your choice, Pradip, and invite you to fill in the Registration Form which will enable you to continue to post in this forum and upgrade your confusion into bewilderment? 'Staying with family' means staying with relatives but they could be any relatives - parents, siblings, cousins.
'Staying with a family' suggests strangers and just emphasises the idea that you are boarded in a private house rather than a purely commercial establishment.
'Staying with my family' is like 'staying with family' but suggests the people in question are those to whom you are closest.

John Dean
Oxford
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As others on this thread have noted, "family" can be used in a broad or a narrow sense, and you ... that term is fairly widely known among educated people and is sometimes used even in conversation when precision is needed.

And, on the same track, the 'extended family' which denotes a set of blood relatives usually living in close proximity and mutually supportive.

John Dean
Oxford
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