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Aguantar: A Whole Lot to Bear

Here's a haunting description of what it's like to be out in a field, wounded by a land mine:


Y bueno, yo aguanté hasta cierta parte, y de ahí ya no pude, el dolor me dominó.

And well, I could take it until a certain point, and from there on I couldn't anymore, the pain dominated me.

Captions 83-84, Tierra Envenenada - Desminando

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The verb aguantar is a synonym for soportar in this context. It means "to be able to endure," "to stand" or "to bear." You'll often see aguantar followed by hasta ("until") to set a limit for how much can be stood or endured. For example:

Hay que aguantar hasta mañana.
You [in an impersonal sense] have to put up with it until tomorrow.

You'll probably hear the verb aguantar used by students with heavy work loads and tough teachers, but the verb can describe truly horrific pain as well.

If you go back into the archives, you'll hear this verb used in the Disputas theme song, Me llamas, by
José Luis Perales.


Me llamas... para decirme que te marchas que ya no aguantas más... que ya estás harta...

You call me... to tell me that you're leaving that you can't take it anymore... that you're fed up...

Captions 15-18, Disputas - La Extraña Dama

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