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 this dictation exercise to hear this phrasal verb being used in context – how much can you understand?

Dictation #1

Accent: Ireland

There’s complaining wallpaper and you’ll to it.
There’s point complaining – you chose wallpaper and you’ll have to with it.

…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.

Discussion question

Write your answer to this question in the comments section, and I’ll get back to you with some feedback:

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

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