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    #1

    difference in meaning (complements)

    hello guys...

    Can anyone tell me the difference in meaning between the following sentences:

    a) I can't bear to be in the dark.

    b) I can't bear being in the dark.

    please give me your opinions even if you're not sure.

    Thank you.

  1. SirGod's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: difference in meaning (complements)

    *Not a teacher

    Only the second one is correct:

    I can't bear being in the dark.

    You must use the gerund after can't bear and not the infinitive. And it means that he doesn't like standing in the dark.

  2. freezeframe's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: difference in meaning (complements)

    Quote Originally Posted by SirGod View Post
    *Not a teacher

    Only the second one is correct:

    I can't bear being in the dark.

    You must use the gerund after can't bear and not the infinitive. And it means that he doesn't like standing in the dark.
    I believe you can you the infinitive just fine.

    "to be in the dark" can also mean "to not know", not just literal being in a place without light

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: difference in meaning (complements)

    Quote Originally Posted by freezeframe View Post
    I believe you can use the infinitive just fine.
    I agree. So does the OALD.

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    #5

    Re: difference in meaning (complements)

    Quote Originally Posted by freezeframe View Post
    I believe you can you the infinitive just fine.

    "to be in the dark" can also mean "to not know", not just literal being in a place without light
    I've been taught that after expressions (can't bear, can't stand etc.), we use the -ing form instead of the infinitive. However, I don't say that you are wrong, I get your point.

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    #6

    Re: difference in meaning (complements)

    Quote Originally Posted by SirGod View Post
    I've been taught that after expressions (can't bear, can't stand etc.) ,we use the -ing form.
    Fine, but we can also use the to-infinitive after can't bear. If you were taught that you could not, you were given incorrect information.

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    #7

    Re: difference in meaning (complements)

    Ok, but can you guys tell me the difference in meaning between
    "can't bear + infinitive" and "can't bear + gerund"?

    I have the impression that if it suddenly becomes dark someone would say "oh! I can't bear being in the dark". However, if it isn't dark and if someone is just talking about things that he/she fears or can't stand, he/she would say "I can't bear to be in the dark".

    apparently people don't really worry about that, as they use the infinitive and the gerund interchangebly for complementing "can't bear" and other verbs .

    Can I have more opinions? Thanks.

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    #8

    Re: difference in meaning (complements)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wesley Pessoti View Post
    Ok, but can you guys tell me the difference in meaning between
    "can't bear + infinitive" and "can't bear + gerund"?

    I have the impression that if it suddenly becomes dark someone would say "oh! I can't bear being in the dark". However, if it isn't dark and if someone is just talking about things that he/she fears or can't stand, he/she would say "I can't bear to be in the dark".

    apparently people don't really worry about that, as they use the infinitive and the gerund interchangebly for complementing "can't bear" and other verbs .

    Can I have more opinions? Thanks.
    They can say either.

    BTW "Oh! I can't bear being in the dark" sounds melodramatic to me. I'd think it's more natural to say "I hate being in the dark".

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