put up with 0

put up with: meaning and explanation

to put up with somebody/something= to tolerate somebody or something.

We might use this phrasal verb to say that someone or something is doing something annoying or frustrating, but we are willing to accept the situation. e.g. Jason is very difficult to work with, but we put up with him because he comes up with such original ideas.

If we use the phrasal verb negatively (e.g. I won’t/can’t put up with this situation anymore), it means that we are not willing to tolerate a situation, or unable to. e.g. I’ve really tried, but I don’t think I can put up with his rudeness much longer.

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

Kelly .
Kelly house couldn't her neighbours .
Kelly to move house she couldn't up with her neighbours longer.

…Kelly decided to move house

Notice the (very) important verb pattern here: to decide to do something. e.g. I’ve decided to pull out of the trip to London as I can’t really afford it.

Discussion question

Write your answers to these questions in the comments section, and I’ll get back to you with some feedback:

  • Is there something that you can’t or won’t put up with?
  • Do you have a strict boss? What won’t they put up with?
  • Have you ever had to end a relationship because you couldn’t put up with something about the other person?

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