I am quite confused with the usage of both words as the some of the meaning is overlapping based in English translations. The dictionary shows that 停止 = stop, cease, halt while for 停住 = stop, halt. So what situation do you guys use 停止 and 停住?
Both 停 and 止 contains the meaning of 'to stop'.
"停止" is a compound word verb for 'to stop'
"停住" = "to stop (successfully/ and keep it this way). It is made up of the verb '停' and it's result complement '住' (住 as a result complement denotes: 1. successfully; 2. in a continuous state)
停止 is usually used as an intransitive verb or auxiliary verb
(intransitive verb): 操作停止 (operation stops); 任务停止 (mission stops)
(auxiliary verb): 停止攻擊 (stop attacking); 停止操作 (stop operating)
"停住" can be use transitive or intransitive
(transitive verb): 他停住車子 (he stops the car)
(intransitive verb) 車子停住了 (the car stops)
停住 is often used as a command in language similar to:
Like you might hear from a policeman or a person of authority.
住 as a grammar point has two functions:
住 can be used after a verb to express a "coming to a halt." These verbs are limited.
Catch that thief!
住 can also be used to express "undertaking an action firmly" or "tightly."
You must seize the opportunity tightly.
So, the emphasis of 住 in 停住 is again: halt.
停止 is used as a verb more akin to:
Here's an example from 91dub:
The murders stopped. The disappearances stopped.