What is a difference between to bear, to stand, to put up with in using in the situation when one keeps from doing something that can give relief somehow? Are they all is used in such situation?

In very similar but not exactly this meaning all these verbs indicated as synonyms in the Oxford dictionary item 3 though using them in some situation looks awkward to me. Here are examples I have just made up, so it may be somewhere incorrect, but they, I hope, fit the situation:

"If You touched a nettle you should bear/stand/put up with the itch and not scratch it"

"The man in the bus was so arrogant and rude that John can hardly bear/stand/put up with not to punch/punching(in case of put up with using) him"

"- Dad I need a toilet! - Bear/Stand/Put up with it, we will be home soon"

Is it interchangeable in these examples? Actually, in the last case, all three option looks weird to me.

  • put up with = tolerate. I haven't seen if bear up with or stand up with work.
    – Schwale
    Jan 2, 2016 at 12:01
  • No, difference not between bear up with, stand up with and put up with, I meant a difference between bear, stand and put up with, e.g. bear the itch, stand the itch, put up with the itch
    – Vitaly
    Jan 2, 2016 at 12:06
  • These three phrases are not interchangeable as you have them in the second and third examples. For one thing, the complement will always be a "something"; an infinitive phrase doesn't work. Another, there's a difference between suffering, tolerating, enduring.
    – TimR
    Jan 2, 2016 at 17:25

1 Answer 1


"If you touched a nettle you should put up with the itch and not scratch it" would be correct.

"The man in the bus was so arrogant and rude that John hardly could bear not to punch him" would also be correct.

"'Dad, I need a toilet!' 'Try to hold it; we will be home soon" would be correct.

"To bear something" implies carrying a burden in your examples; e. g., "The killer will bear the responsibility of his actions for the rest of his life." See more examples and uses here (under verb): http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bear

"To stand something" implies tolerating an annoyance in your examples; e. g., "I can't stand the taste of coffee without cream." See the "Synonym Discussion of stand: bear, suffer, endure, abide, tolerate, [and] stand mean to put up with something trying or painful," quoted from here: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stand

"To put up with something" implies reluctant acceptance in your examples; e. g., "I put up with his odd habits because he is my friend." See "to ​accept or ​continue to ​accept an ​unpleasant ​situation or ​experience, or someone who ​behaves ​unpleasantly," quoted from here: http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/put-up-with-sth-sb

  • This seems to be more of an idiomatic way of writing those expressions than choosing the correct phrasal verb. Can you elaborate more?
    – Schwale
    Jan 3, 2016 at 11:42
  • Thank you for your suggestions, @Subjunctive. I hope my edits have improved the answer. Jan 3, 2016 at 16:08

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