I heard in the movie Scarface:

You can't stand for another man to be touching me.

Do people say stand for someone to do something?

Also I am not clear on the difference between stand and stand for, as both can mean tolerate or endure. What is the difference between stand and stand for in this particular sense?

I can't stand the way Mom talks to him"

I wouldn't stand for that sort of behavior from him, if I were you.

  • I feel your first example should not be read as: [can't stand for] another man to be touching me. It should read as: [can't stand] [for another man to be touching me.] in my opinion. It's not demonstrating the usage of "can't stand for", but "can't stand". But I might be wrong, so it's just an FYI.
    – dan
    Dec 31, 2018 at 1:33
  • @dan You are absolutely right. It is actually a different question from the second half of my post. I only put it there because the two parts are related.
    – Eddie Kal
    Dec 31, 2018 at 1:39
  • Remember that scriptwriters intentionally give their characters poor language skills, dialects and accents. Do a google search for Sopranos Malapropisms, they're great!
    – Matt
    Dec 31, 2018 at 8:33

1 Answer 1


Good examples of these two phrases getting mixed up.

I can't stand (something) means I intensely dislike something.

I wouldn't stand for that - means I wouldn't accept the way you've been treated, and I'd do something about it.

You can say: I can't stand porridge.

You can't say: I wouldn't stand for porridge.

  • Of course you can say I wouldn't stand for porridge. You just need the right context. For instance, when talking to a recruitment officer for Quaker Oats: "You might stand for porridge, but I won't. Look for someone else." It's perfectly fine in that context. It means that you won't represent it. (Which is a meaning that you didn't include in your answer.) In fact, the other meaning you gave also makes sense. Such as being served porridge at a 3-star restaurant. That's not something I'd stand for. Dec 30, 2018 at 22:21
  • Fair enough Jason. However, I'd prefer to say I wouldn't stand for being given porridge. It's not the porridge you find offensive, it's that fact someone insulted you with such a lowly breakfast. Not sure I'd go along with the first argument with that poor Quaker though! They're hardly the offensive sort, after all. I do get the point of I hate everything that (Nigel Farage?) stands for ;-)
    – Matt
    Dec 30, 2018 at 23:04

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