From the Merriam-Webster Learner's Dictionary:

stand for (something)

3 : to allow (something) to continue to happen — usually used in negative statements

I will not stand for [=put up with] any more of this nonsense.



[+ object]

a : to be willing or able to accept (something or someone unpleasant) without complaint — usually used with can, can't, cannot, could, and couldn't

Can you stand [=tolerate, put up with] waiting a few more minutes? = Can you stand to wait a few more minutes?

How can you stand her friends?

He couldn't stand [=bear, endure] the pain.

So, in the dictionary, both "stand" and "stand for" means "put up with".

Are "I am not standing for your nonsense any longer" and "I am not standing your nonsense any longer" the same?

Is there any difference between them?

2 Answers 2


There's a subtle difference here, which makes your first sentence the choice of most native users of the language and the second sentence pretty unnatural.

To "stand for" something - i.e. to "put up with" it - suggests that you will not do anything about it if it continues; conversely, when you say that you won't "stand for" something, it means that you will no longer allow it to continue. "I'm not standing for your nonsense any longer," then, is not only a statement that you won't endure it, but that in fact there will be consequences if it continues. Those consequences might not be particularly scary - it may just be that you walk out the door - but there is at least a minimal suggestion that you'll take action to prevent it from continuing.

To "stand" something means more to endure something in the sense that it doesn't bother you so awfully; conversely in this case, not to "stand" something would be to hate that thing. There isn't the suggestion of any particular consequences, though, if the thing continues. So when you say "I'm not standing your nonsense any longer," it's not particularly idiomatic, because it's phrased as a threat, but the only thing that you're threatening is to hate the nonsense if it continues. "I can't stand your nonsense" (not a threat - just a fact), though, would be perfectly natural. Note that "stand" in this sense is usually paired with "can" or "can't."

That all being said, I think "stand" is sometimes used as a short form of "stand for," but what I said above generally stands in American English.


The meaning of "stand" in this sense is "withstand", and is only used to describe one's ability to withstand. There is no decision or action involved, just the observation of your reaction to something.

"She can't stand snakes."

This means if she sees a snake, she has a very strong and negative reaction -- she does not have the ability to be calm around a snake.

"How can she stand living with that guy?"

This shows surprise at her ability to be comfortable living with a guy who would be difficult for most people to live with.

In contrast, to "stand for" something means to choose to allow it to happen. It's an action verb.

"I am not standing for your nonsense any longer"

This means, "I'm choosing not to tolerate your nonsense any longer, or choosing not to allow it to continue.

Also, your second sentence (with just "stand") is ungrammatical. The reason is in your question:

"stand" —usually used with can, can't, cannot, could, and couldn't.

Quite often, when dictionaries say "usually", they mean "almost always" or "always".

The verb "stand" in that 12th sense is never used with present continuous. I can't think of a grammatically correct use of it other than with those five modal verbs listed.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .