live with: meaning and explanation

The phrasal verb to live with something means to accept a bad or difficult situation, usually because you have no other option. e.g. It’s the worst haircut I’ve ever had, but I suppose I’ll just have to live with it.

This phrasal verb is often used with the verb ‘learn’ – you learn to live with something. This communicates the idea that sometimes you have to adapt to negative situations because you can’t change them. e.g. “Joe generally only gets one or two hours of sleep a night. It’s awful, but he’s learned to live with it”.

Synonyms: to tolerate something, to bear something, to accept something.

Have a go at these micro-dictation exercises to hear this expression being used in context – how much can you understand?

Listening exercises

Micro-listening #1

Accent: Ireland

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There’s complaining wallpaper and you’ll to it.

About the sentence

…there’s no point complaining now…

If there is no point (in) doing something, then doing it is useless, and will not achieve anything. e.g. There’s no point crying about it, you can’t change the fact that you lost.

Micro-listening #2

Accent: England (RP)

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Micro-listening #3

Accent: Wales

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Extra practice

Here are some questions/links to help you learn the new vocabulary:

  • Is there anything that is bad or difficult in your life, but which you have learned to live with?

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