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There are times when people stand in fear of theirs.

Why do you native speakers use “stand” in this kind of expression?

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teacherJapanWhy do you native speakers use “stand” in this kind of expression?

Why? Emotion: surprise

It's just that people started using "stand" in all kinds of expressions at some time in the past, and we accepted it and continue to use the word in those ways. That's the way all languages work. It may be crazy, but that's the way it works, whether for good or for bad. Quite often 'stand' means something like 'be' or 'be in a certain state'.

You might be surprised at the number of ways we use the word "stand". Some of them seem only obliquely related to others.

stand a chance ~ have a chance
stand for ~ put up with; permit
stand one's ground ~ maintain one's position
stand on one's own feet ~ think or act independently
stand tall ~ exhibit courage
stand guard
stand accused
stand trial
stand firm
stand aside
stand on your head
stand the test of time
copy something as it stands
the clock stands on the mantle
stands to win the prize
stand in line
stand in the way
stand in fear of
stand in agreement with
stand in judgment
stand in contrast to
stand in for someone
can't stand to do something; can't stand someone
could stand a drink; could stand a hug

Don't try to learn all of them at once!

CJ

Comments  
teacherJapan

There are times when people stand in fear of theirs.

Why do you native speakers use “stand” in this kind of expression?

I can't tell what it is supposed to mean. Their what? But yes, you can stand in fear of something. It is a rather literary turn of phrase.

Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.
Thank you very much for taking the trouble of making a list. I really appreciate your help, CJ.