you have to bear with me a little bit here

sunyaer

Senior Member
Chinese
This is a sentence I made up myself.

"You have to bear with me a little bit here because I might not be as good as you at this game."

Does "you have to bear with me a little bit here" mean you have to be patient?
 
  • e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    It does. :)
    I think I would say You'll have to bear with me a little bit (I don't know why :)) or Please bear with me because ...
     
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    Sparky Malarky

    Moderator
    English - US
    Can we say "if you don't mind bearing with me, I'll fix that for you now"?
    Maybe, but it sounds a little odd. If I am going to fix something right way, why am I asking you to be patient?

    A: Can you fix my watch?
    B: I'm busy right now, but if you can bear with me I can do it this afternoon. --or--
    B: I'm kind of slow, but if you'll bear with me I'll try.
     

    sunyaer

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Maybe, but it sounds a little odd. If I am going to fix something right way, why am I asking you to be patient?
    ...
    Maybe the fixing will take some time. If that's the case, does the sentence make sense?

    That's something being said by a representative at a call centre. Maybe it was a bit different:

    "If you don't mind bearing with me, I can go ahead and do the refund."

    Does that sound a bit more natural?
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Maybe the fixing will take some time. If that's the case, does the sentence make sense?

    That's something being said by a representative at a call centre. Maybe it was a bit different:

    "If you don't mind bearing with me, I can go ahead and do the refund."

    Does that sound a bit more natural?
    Again, this sounds like instantaneous thing happening now. We can't know if we mind waiting or not if you don't tell us how long it's going to take.
     

    sunyaer

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    A: Can you fix my watch?
    B: I'm busy right now, but if you can bear with me I can do it this afternoon. --or--
    B: I'm kind of slow, but if you'll bear with me I'll try.
    Is B asking A to wait there until this afternoon?

    Also, does "I'm kind of slow, but if you'll bear with me I'll try" mean that if "you" can wait here while "I" fix it?


    I found the interpretation of "bear with sb" as "to be patient and wait while someone does something" at
    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/bear-with-sb
     
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    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    That's a very narrow definition. < Not needed.>

    Bear with me, it's true, can mean "wait for a little while", and that's what the watch-fixer has in mind in your examples above. But its more general meaning (which can include waiting) is "be patient" or "have patience" or "be tolerant". Thus, for example, you might say to someone, "Please bear with me as I tell you my story; my English is not yet perfect." Thus, "bear with me" can mean, "have patience with my efforts; try not to be too critical."

    "Bear", like "get", plays many roles in English, both alone and in a variety of phrases. It's a very useful word—although probably very confusing to those learning the language. :eek:
     
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    sunyaer

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    ...
    Bear with me, it's true, can mean "wait for a little while", and that's what the watch-fixer has in mind in your examples above. ...
    It seems that "I'm busy right now, but if you can bear with me I can do it this afternoon" gives the impression that the waiting is much longer than a little while unless the time when this is being said is close to noon. Does that make sense?
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    It seems that "I'm busy right now, but if you can bear with me I can do it this afternoon" gives the impression that the waiting is much longer than a little while unless the time when this is being said is close to noon. Does that make sense?
    Good point, Sunyaer. If you've brought the watch to the repair shop at 9 or 10 a.m. and he says that—yes, you'll probably have a few hours to wait for that repair to be done. You'll need a bit more patience in that case. ;)
     

    sunyaer

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Good point, Sunyaer. If you've brought the watch to the repair shop at 9 or 10 a.m. and he says that—yes, you'll probably have a few hours to wait for that repair to be done. You'll need a bit more patience in that case.
    My question is: When he says that, does he mean that you have to wait at the shop? Could he mean that you can drop it off and come back to pick it up in the afternoon when he has time to fix it then? ("Bear with me" in this sense still has the meaning of "be patient" and "wait while someone does something", but which does not necessarily mean "wait on the spot".)
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    When he says that, does he mean that you have to wait at the shop? Could he mean that you can drop it off and come back to pick it up in the afternoon when he has time to fix it then?
    You'll need to ask him that question; "bear with me" doesn't cover those details. :)
     

    sunyaer

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    But its more general meaning (which can include waiting) is "be patient" or "have patience" or "be tolerant".
    ...
    As I understand now, literally, there is nothing in "bear with me" about waiting; it's the context that gives rise to the sense of waiting. Is that correct?
     
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