Recently one of my friend asked a question "Where do you put up?". Initially I didn't understand the question and later i came to know that its nothing but "Where do you stay?". Is it a right sentence?. I am confused with the below combinations also. Could you please clarify?

Where do you put up?
Where are you put up?
where are you putting up?
  • In AusE, in answer to the question: "Where do you stay when you're in Podunk?", we would likely say: "I usually prop with my best friend's cousin." However I have never heard the expression "Where do you put up?", however "Where are you put up?" could have the same answer. – Cargill Nov 30 '15 at 1:36
  • Possibly from "put up your feet". – JEL Nov 30 '15 at 1:39
  • @Raptor Likely from "put up someone," i.e provide someone with a place to stay. idioms.thefreedictionary.com/put+up – Elian Nov 30 '15 at 1:51
  • Tell us what part of the English-speaking world this friend is from. And where you're located. – Steven Littman Nov 30 '15 at 1:54
  • @StevenLittman, i am part of India. I got some reference for this word.forum.wordreference.com/threads/… – Raptor Nov 30 '15 at 1:57

"Where do you put up?" is used to mean where are you staying temporarily, but it is more often used with an object:

A: Where do you put up visiting relatives?
B: We have a guest room

A brief tour with the google reveals this advice from "15 Errors most Indians make while speaking English Vinglish":

Coming back to the place of residence -- I often hear a common usage when it is asked that "Where do you put up?" -- This sentence is completely and utterly incorrect. This error has passed on as a "sophisticated" way of asking "Where do you stay?". I don't know who started this, but it is incorrect and should not be used.

This seems a bit harsh. "Where do you put up has a long history in the language, although it's a bit dated without its object. From a conversation found via the Ngram viewer in the 1843 book Brother Jonathon:

"[W]here do you put up?
I told him.
“At the Crown? That's odd. Why, I put up there. Well, I'll look in upon you, and hear how you have succeeded."

The Ngram viewer reports no instances of "Where are you put up?"

"Where are you putting up?" seems a valid transposition to the progressive, but it likely clashes with the idiomatic "putting up with something" meaning to endure that thing.


I haven't heard it used in that way before. I've heard of someone asking a friend "can you put me up for the night" meaning "can you provide me with accommodation for the night".

That type of usage is common enough to have made it into the OED:

put up 1

Stay temporarily in accommodation other than one’s own home: we put up at a hotel in the city centre

However I think that most people would have the same reaction as you to "where do you put up". It's arguable whether it's technically correct, but I'd say that it's certainly a very unusual permutation of the expression.

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