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Do these two sentences imply the same action?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Not at all!

Kneeling down

"Bend your knees, please!" means that the speaker asks the listener to stay in a postition where one or both knees are on the ground. This position is often interpreted as an act of praying and submission (compare Romeo & Juliet).

Squatting down

"Squat down, please!" means that the speaker requests the listener to lower his/her butt to sit like a frog. This position is often interpreted as an act of performing Yoga and Quadriceps Exercises. In some of the Asian countries, there are squat toilets where a squatting down position is needed!

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Mithun - WOW!!! Thank you for the nicely illustrated answer! – brilliant Mar 25 '11 at 6:27
I disagree strongly with the first part of this answer. To me "bend the knee" is an archaic expression for "kneel in submission". "Bend your knees please" absolutely does not suggest this to me: it means literally, "bend your knees" - i.e. cause them not to be straight. It might indeed mean "squat down", but to me probably means rather less bending. It does not suggest "kneel down". The context I would expect to hear it is something like "Please lower your head or shoulders so that I can reach them". – Colin Fine Mar 25 '11 at 12:29
+1 for the pictures – Peter Olson Mar 25 '11 at 15:00
@Mithun "I must agree with you because there is a possibility that the asker may misunderstand the first phrase by insisting the context of what I explained for a situation where the context what you suggested would be needed" - I asked this question without having any context at hand, I just happened to hear both phrases and wasn't sure if they meant the same thing. My main point here is this: Would you say "Bend your knees, please" to someone if you want him to squat down? – brilliant Mar 25 '11 at 16:54
@Mithun - I see. Thank you for the link. – brilliant Mar 26 '11 at 15:04


Squatting down generally requires you to have some part of the body which is above the knees when standing erect to be below the knees.

Bending the knees, while this action can include squatting down, only requires the knees to be bent slightly. For example, some people recommend bending the knees to keep the circulation of the blood in the legs unconstricted, but this does not require squatting down.

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The first may be addressing someone in a supine or sitting position, the second only someone standing.

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