"If I've stood things this long I can stand them..

andersxman

Senior Member
Denmark/danish
"If I've stood things this long, I can stand them a little longer."
(Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, p. 1078)

I'm used to hearing/using the verb "to stand" in a different way, e.g. "I can't stand him", i.e. preceeded by a negation. Now I read this, and it is POSITIVE, positive in the sense that the person speaking COULD actually stand what they've been through.

Is this normal usage in English?

Let me try a couple of examples:

1) "I am so tired of these meetings. There are three more this week. I will just have to stand them"
2) "I don't like spending time with her. I've stood her all through the morning, and I will have to stand her throughout the afternoon too"

Up until now I would have said that these phrases are incorrect, but now I am less sure. What do you reckon?
 
  • fleur de courgette

    Senior Member
    United States/English
    andersxman,

    Yes, this sense of the word is used in both positive and negative forms. In daily speech, the past tense form is uncommon yet makes sense.

    Your phrases are correct, but I'd suggest replacing stood in the phrase "I've stood her all through the morning" with "put up with".
     

    tomandjerryfan

    Senior Member
    English (Canada)
    The use of "stand" in all those sentences is definitely correct and would be easily understood, though I wouldn't likely use it in a positive sense myself. I would likely use "put up with" or "bear," especially in the second sentence, but "stand" is definitely correct. Perhaps in BrE the use of stand in those sentences would be more natural.
     

    Arrius

    Senior Member
    English, UK
    "If I've stood things this long, I can stand them a little longer."
    (Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, p. 1078)

    I'm used to hearing/using the verb "to stand" in a different way, e.g. "I can't stand him", i.e. preceeded by a negation. Now I read this, and it is POSITIVE, positive in the sense that the person speaking COULD actually stand what they've been through.

    Is this normal usage in English?

    Let me try a couple of examples:

    1) "I am so tired of these meetings. There are three more this week. I will just have to stand them"
    2) "I don't like spending time with her. I've stood her all through the morning, and I will have to stand her throughout the afternoon too"

    Up until now I would have said that these phrases are incorrect, but now I am less sure. What do you reckon?
    Your original sentence is fine, possibly because there is the idea of doubt which is half-way towards a negative, and stood is influenced by the can stand later in the sentence, which implies a question.

    In example 1, stand just does not collocate here with will have to, and I would say have to put up with instead.
    In example 2 the stood sounds fine probably because the ability of the speaker to tolerate this female is understandly questionable, but once more the stand does not collocate with will have to, and an Englishman would again say I shall have to put up with her.
    But I fear I have been guided largely by Sprachgefühl and my arguments are rather woolly.
     

    jennball

    Senior Member
    USA English
    The way 'stand' is used here doesn't sound quite right. I would use 'bear' or 'tolerate'. When I hear 'stand' used in a positive sense, it is usually in a sentence like, 'I guess I can stand three more meetings'. 'Can stand' makes a good opposite for 'can't stand', but 'have to stand' doesn't.
     

    my-own-fantasy

    Senior Member
    English-USA
    1) "I am so tired of these meetings. There are three more this week. I will just have to stand them"
    2) "I don't like spending time with her. I've stood her all through the morning, and I will have to stand her throughout the afternoon too"
    Yes, I would say that the verb "to stand" is used in different contexts i English. I'm not quite sure that your examples are describing th best usage, however. "To Stand" is sort of like another word for "to put up with". For example: "I can't stand that girl!"
    Hope it Helps!
     

    andersxman

    Senior Member
    Denmark/danish
    So, in summary and conclusion, maybe it's fair to say that "to stand" is to be employed in this manner with great caution. I myself am going to try to avoid it - it seems that native speakers would find it odd in many cases, so "put up with" and "bear" etc. shall be my preferred choices.

    Thank you very much for your contributions everyone!
     
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