B2.2 Vocabulary – ‘bear’ / ‘bearable’ – vocabulary note from lesson 24/1/11

Today the adjective bearable appeared in the text we read in class.  This useful word is used to talk about something which can be accepted, dealt with and tolerated.

I had a quick look on the internet and found some examples which illustrate the word in context.

The first is from a forum for travellers in which people ask for advice.  One person, thinking of travelling to and working in Spain, asked the following question: 

Would it be possible to find a small apartment and eat in Spain on €700 per month?  How about anywhere in Spain?  Would the living conditions be bearable?

What do you think?  Could someone afford to live in Madrid on this budget in living conditions that would be tolerable?

Here are some more examples of words in the same family as bearable.  Classify the examples according to the word type (verb/adjective/adv) or expressions containing the word:

  1. Spanish property debt is unbearable  The president of AHE (Spain’s Mortgage Association), Santos Gonzalez, has warned that the banks do not have the financial capacity to assume the debt of property developers, which amounts to around 325,000 million Euros, thus gravely endangering the viability of the Spanish property sector as well as Spain’s financial industry.  (Spanish News, 25/1/10)
  2. Weather in Spain:  “In July and August, temperatures can get unpleasant, even unbearable, anywhere inland of Spain, unless you are high enough in the mountains.”  (Welcome to Spain)
  3. How much TV do you watch?   I love watching films, but I can’t stand them on TV as I can’t bear commercial breaks or I don’t have a routine that allows me to sit and watch at the time they are on the air. (Notes from Spain)
  4. Eating out in Spain:  In Spain the siesta period means that lunch is normally served between 2pm to 3pm and thus dinner is normally served as late as 10pm. Restaurants therefore adapt to this and generally open around these hours. In order not to miss out on the best Madrid restaurants have to offer, travelers should bear in mind that the cafes, restaurants and tapas bars generally open from 1:00 to 3:00pm for lunchtimes, and serve dinner from 8:30 to 11pm. the more desirable the cuisine and the atmosphere you are looking for, the more likely you will have to wait later to enjoy it.   (Best Madrid Restaurants)
  5. Chillida’s controversial plan to hollow out mountain is reborn:  (text talks about opposition to the scheme and continues…)  “…But the Canarian government is now relaunching the project, assuring doubters that construction firms will bear the cost in exchange for the rights to run the monument. It calculates the expenditure would be financed by the sale of tickets to the public. However, critics say it is implausible to assume an influx of visitors big enough to pay back the ¤75 million budgeted for its creation – especially as the Chillida-Leku Museum has had to close its doors precisely because of a lack of visitors.”  (El Pais in English, 20/1/11)
  6. The weather in Madrid (again!):  “Early summer is quite pleasant, but late summer in July and August is often unbearably hot. Autumn is a little wetter but more pleasant than summer.”  (City data)

Similar words:  Match words and expressions above to the following similar words:

I can’t stand…  /  take into consideration / intolerable  /  remember / assume the cost / difficult to put up with / I can’t take it anymore!  / it gets on my nerves

Spanglish!  To conclude, here’s a game with a text I wrote in Spanglish about living in Madrid.  Can you change the Spanglish into English using words from this page?

Okay, from my point of view, all things considered, life in Madrid is pretty fantastic but you know, now and then you come across things that are difficult to soportar.  For instance, the metro.  There are lots of good things about the metro in Madrid.  Generally speaking it’s a lot cleaner, quicker and more pleasant to use than the tube in London and this almost makes it easier to aguantar the latest price increases.  However, there are a few things that me pone nerviosa.  Firstly, the rush to get on.  The train gets into the station, it stops, the door opens.  If you haven’t managed to leave the train in the first 3 seconds, there’s trouble.  You have to tener en cuenta that you now face a crowd of people who are treating getting on the train like a military operation and you are about to be pushed back in the one direction you don’t want to go.  Relax everyone!  There’s enough time for everyone to get off and everyone to get on.  Another thing that me fastidia is the red light racers at the traffic lights.  The pedestrians wait for the little green man.  The traffic lights go amber.  The drivers speed up.  The light goes red.  The car jumps the lights.  Arrrggghhh!  No puedo mas and me da miedo solo de pensar en the possible consequences.

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Filed under B2.2 - Vocabulary recycling

One response to “B2.2 Vocabulary – ‘bear’ / ‘bearable’ – vocabulary note from lesson 24/1/11

  1. Here are some suggested answers for the last activity:

    Okay, from my point of view, all things considered, life in Madrid is pretty fantastic but you know, now and then you come across things that are difficult to BEAR/PUT UP WITH. For instance, the metro. There are lots of good things about the metro in Madrid. Generally speaking it’s a lot cleaner, quicker and more pleasant to use than the tube in London and this almost makes it easier to PUT UP WITH/TOLERATE the latest price increases. However, there are a few things that GET ON MY NERVES/ARE UNBEARABLE/I CAN’T STAND. Firstly, the rush to get on. The train gets into the station, it stops, the door opens. If you haven’t managed to leave the train in the first 3 seconds, there’s trouble. You have to BEAR IN MIND/TAKE INTO ACCOUNT/TAKE INTO COSIDERATION/REMEMBER that you now face a crowd of people who are treating getting on the train like a military operation and you are about to be pushed back in the one direction you don’t want to go. Relax everyone! There’s enough time for everyone to get off and everyone to get on. Another thing that I CAN’T BEAR/I CAN’T STAND/GETS ON MY NERVES is the red light racers at the traffic lights. The pedestrians wait for the little green man. The traffic lights go amber. The drivers speed up. The light goes red. The car jumps the lights. Arrrggghhh! I CAN’T STAND IT ANYMORE!/I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE and I CAN’T BEAR TO THINK ABOUT the possible consequences / and the possible consequences DON’T BEAR THINKING ABOUT.

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