can’t bear + to-infinitive

In the English Vocabulary Profile at B2, ‘bear’ is defined:

accept someone or something unpleasant

For example:

can’t bear to see him like this.

listen

*There are other uses of ‘bear’ that are more advanced.  However, the sense defined above has a distinct grammar pattern:

(CAN | COULD) (often negative) + bear + (to-infinitive | Verb-ing | noun phrase)

Verb-ing (gerund) is very rare!


A search in iWeb for:

_VM _XX bear * *

1 CA N’T BEAR THE THOUGHT 414
2 COULD N’T BEAR THE THOUGHT 295
3 SHALT NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS 235
4 CA N’T BEAR TO BE 216
5 COULD NOT BEAR TO SEE 191
6 CAN NOT BEAR THE THOUGHT 183
7 CAN NOT BEAR TO SEE 183
8 SHALL NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS 173
9 CA N’T BEAR TO PART 166
10 CAN NOT BEAR TO BE 165
11 COULD N’T BEAR TO SEE 163
12 COULD NOT BEAR THE THOUGHT 160
13 CA N’T BEAR TO SEE 154
14 COULD NOT BEAR TO BE 133
15 COULD N’T BEAR TO BE 106
16 CA N’T BEAR TO LEAVE 105
17 CA N’T BEAR TO THINK 105
18 CAN NOT BEAR THEM NOW 103
19 CAN NOT BEAR TO HEAR 91
20 COULD N’T BEAR TO WATCH 89
21 CA N’T BEAR TO LOOK 86
22 CA N’T BEAR TO WATCH 82
23 COULD N’T BEAR TO LOOK 78
24 CA N’T BEAR TO THROW 77
25 CA N’T BEAR IT . 76
26 COULD N’T BEAR TO LEAVE 76
27 CAN NOT BEAR IT . 71
28 CAN NOT BEAR TO THINK 71
29 COULD N’T BEAR IT . 70
30 COULD NOT BEAR TO HAVE 67
31 COULD NOT BEAR TO LOOK 65
32 CAN NOT BEAR TO LOOK 63
33 COULD N’T BEAR TO PART 63
34 COULD NOT BEAR TO THINK 60
35 CA N’T BEAR THE IDEA 58
36 COULD NOT BEAR IT . 58
37 COULD NOT BEAR TO HEAR 51
38 CAN NOT BEAR TO HAVE 50
39 COULD NOT BEAR TO WATCH 48
40 COULD N’T BEAR THE IDEA 47
41 CA N’T BEAR TO LET 45
42 COULD NOT BEAR THE IDEA 45
43 CA N’T BEAR TO HEAR 44
44 CAN NOT BEAR THE WEIGHT 44
45 CAN NOT BEAR TO WATCH 43
46 COULD NOT BEAR THE SIGHT 42
47 CA N’T BEAR TO GET 40
48 COULD NOT BEAR TO LEAVE 40
49 CA N’T BEAR TO LOSE 38
50 CAN NOT BEAR THE BURDEN 38
51 COULD N’T BEAR TO HAVE 37
52 CA N’T BEAR TO GO 36
53 CA N’T BEAR TO MISS 36
54 CAN NOT BEAR TO PART 36
55 COULD N’T BEAR TO THINK 36
56 CA N’T BEAR IT , 35
57 CAN NOT BEAR VERY MUCH 35
58 CA N’T BEAR TO HAVE 34
59 CAN NOT BEAR THE PAIN 33
60 CAN NOT BEAR THE IDEA 32
61 COULD N’T BEAR TO THROW 32
62 COULD NOT BEAR IT ANY 32
63 CAN NOT BEAR TO LIVE 31
64 COULD NOT BEAR TO LIVE 31
65 CA N’T BEAR TO DO 29
66 CAN NOT BEAR FRUIT OF 29
67 COULD N’T BEAR IT ANY 29
68 COULD N’T BEAR TO LET 29
69 COULD N’T BEAR TO LOSE 29
70 CA N’T BEAR TO GIVE 28
71 CAN NOT BEAR TO LOSE 28
72 CA N’T BEAR THE PAIN 27
73 CA N’T BEAR TO LIVE 27
74 COULD NOT BEAR IT , 27
75 CAN NOT BEAR GOOD FRUIT 26
76 CAN NOT BEAR IT , 26
77 CAN NOT BEAR TO LET 26
78 COULD NOT BEAR TO PART 26
79 COULD N’T BEAR TO TELL 25
80 COULD NOT BEAR THE PAIN 25
81 COULD NOT BEAR THE WEIGHT 25
82 CA N’T BEAR IT ANY 24
83 CA N’T BEAR TO WAIT 24
84 COULD N’T BEAR TO DO 24
85 COULD N’T BEAR TO GO 24
86 COULD N’T BEAR TO LIVE 24
87 COULD NOT BEAR TO LOSE 24
88 CA N’T BEAR TO PUT 23
89 CAN NOT BEAR TO GO 22
90 CAN NOT BEAR WEIGHT ON 22
91 SHALL NOT BEAR THE INIQUITY 22
92 CAN NOT BEAR BAD FRUIT 21
93 CAN NOT BEAR TO LEAVE 21
94 COULD N’T BEAR TO TAKE 21
95 COULD NOT BEAR TO LET 21
96 COULD N’T BEAR IT , 20
97 COULD N’T BEAR THE PAIN 20
98 COULD NOT BEAR TO GIVE 20
99 CA N’T BEAR IT WHEN 19
100 CAN NOT BEAR THE SIGHT 19


+ _VVG

1 CA N’T BEAR SEEING 13
2 COULD N’T BEAR SEEING 10
3 CA N’T BEAR LISTENING 8
4 CAN NOT BEAR SEEING 7
5 COULD N’T BEAR LOSING 7
6 COULD N’T BEAR WAITING 6
7 CA N’T BEAR WATCHING 5
8 COULD NOT BEAR LIVING 5
9 COULD NOT BEAR SEEING 5
10 COULD NOT BEAR SITTING 5


The EVP examples: