Could you teach me the meaning of "spy on"? Is it different from "stakeout"? And do you use "spy on" commonly?
To "spy on" means to watch someone or something secretly, often in order to discover information about him, her, or it. It is different from the word "stakeout" because a "stakeout" is generally just watching an area or building, not necessarily a specific target. A stakeout is also usually something that is done in relation to crime. Whereas "spying on" someone can be used generally. I would also say that "spy on" is a generally more common phrase that you would hear in regular conversation than "stakeout". Ex: I need to spy on my boyfriend to figure out what to get him for his birthday. Ex: How did you know I went shopping? Are you spying on me? Ex: My mom is always spying on our neighbors. Ex: You don't have to spy on me, you can just ask.