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Bear Up with Sopportare and Reggere

In a previous lesson we discussed not being able to stand someone, using the verb vedere (to see):

Non lo posso vedere!
I can’t stand him!

In an episode of Il Commissario Manara, we hear another verb employed to express a similar sentiment: sopportare (to bear, to put up with, to tolerate). Lara is talking about her situation with Luca. She may be saying she can’t stand him, or that she can’t stand it (the situation).


Non lo sopporto!

I can't bear it/ I can't stand him!

Caption 34, Il Commissario Manara - S1EP6 - Reazione a Catena

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Another way to say this would be:

E’ insopportabile!
It’s unbearable/He's unbearable!

Another verb that is useful in this context is reggere (to hold, to hold up, to bear). Reggere, too, may be used when you can’t stand or bear someone or something.

Non lo reggo!
I can’t bear him!
I can’t bear it!

You may recall reading about retto as a noun in a completely different context in another lesson, but in the following example, retto is the participle of reggere.


Rodolfo non ha retto il peso della mia malattia.

Rodolfo couldn't bear the burden of my illness.

Caption 3, Anna presenta - La Bohème di Puccini

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It can mean physically holding something, as in:

Mi reggi questa borsa un attimo?
Could you hold this bag for me a moment?

Or holding onto, as in:


L'alcol, l'alcol, non lo regge, -Mh. Eh...

The alcohol, alcohol, he can't hold his, -Hm. Yeah...

si vede che... -Che, tu lo reggi?

it turns out that... -Because, you can hold yours?

Captions 48-49, Il Commissario Manara - S1EP4 - Le Lettere Di Leopardi

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Reggere is often used when talking about how sturdy something is.

Questa scala è un po’ marcia. Reggerà?
This ladder is a bit rotten. Will it hold up?

Sopportare and reggere are useful words in all kinds of contexts. Have a look at the online dictionary of your choice to get an even better grasp of them. 

Just for fun:

Questo tetto non reggerà per molto. L’ho detto a mio marito, ma lui non sopporta l’idea di dover spendere soldi. Il suo atteggiamento lo trovo insopportabile, e non lo reggo proprio quando si comporta così. Vedremo per quanto ancora reggerà il tetto, e per quanto tempo ancora io potrò sopportare mio marito! Quasi quasi, se mi reggi questa scala, andrò io a dare un'occhiata al tetto!

This roof won’t hold up for long. I told my husband this, but he can’t stand the idea of having to spend money. His attitude I find to be intolerable, and I can’t stand him when he behaves that way. We’ll see how much longer the roof will hold, and for how long I’ll be able to stand my husband! On second thought, if you hold this ladder for me, I'll go and have a look at the roof myself.

Think about things you (and people you know) can or cannot put up with, and use sopportare and reggere to talk about it!



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