I wonder which choice works in my sentence and which one doesn't and why?

  • I never forget the time Sam fought the BBC's reporter when he offended Sam by saying those words! I think as a diplomat, he has to be able to ......... annoying remarks.

1. Put up with

To accept or continue to accept an unpleasant situation or experience, or someone who behaves unpleasantly:
Example: I can put up with the house being messy, but I hate it if it's not clean.

2. Cope with:

To deal successfully with a difficult situation:
Example: It must be really hard to cope with three young children and a job.

3. Get along with:

To deal with a situation, usually successfully:
Example: I wonder how Michael is getting along in his new job?

4. Compromise with

Compromise as a noun means: a situation in which people accept something slightly different from what they really want, because of circumstances or because they are considering the wishes of other people.
[This meaning fits well with my needed concept; but dictionaries did not provide me with a similar meaning in verbal form of the word "compromise" and it was why I just brought up the noun form meaning.]

So as you see, it was why I thought all the listed options above work in this specific case! But I don't know (if I am correct,) how each phrasal verb changes the meaning of my scenario. It is sort of a question that really gets me often into trouble. I wonder if you could help me with it.

  • I would suggest he has to be able to ignore annoying remarks
    – Smock
    Jun 27, 2019 at 14:58

1 Answer 1


"Getting along" does not fit. In fact, even your example is wrong. It should be "I wonder how Michael is getting on in his new job", although some people do seem to mix up these two idioms. "Getting along" usually refers to a relationship between two people.

"Compromise" means a trade-off between two things and can sometimes be an agreement to settle somewhere in the middle or for a third option which takes in at least some of the other two options. In your statement, there is no trade-off - just one thing you can bear and another thing you can't - so this is not appropriate either.

Idiomatically, options 1 and 2 are both fine in context. People do say these. There is a difference in their meaning.

"Cope with" means that you can handle something. It doesn't necessarily infer that those things are bad. For example:

My wife copes with being a businesswoman and a mother.

So, saying that you can "cope with a messy house" doesn't necessarily mean that you dislike it.

"Put up with" means to tolerate something, so this does imply that it is something you normally dislike or disagree with yet do not interfere with or attempt to stop. For example:

My wife puts up with my bad habits.

I would say then that the most appropriate expression in your sentence is "put up with" (or simply "tolerate"?) because that best implies that "messy" is something you dislike, but "dirty" is where you draw the line and will not tolerate it.

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