Bear vs Bare
The most common mistake with these two words is when ‘bare’ is substituted for ‘bear‘ as a verb (action), as in ‘Please bare with me’. I’m pretty sure that the author is not actually wanting me to get naked with them. Nobody wants that.
Bear has a lot of meanings, the most common being:
- a big furry creature (noun)
Example: The bear chased the hiker through the woods, scaring off the wolf.
- to carry or support something (verb)
Example: He was bearing a tray of coffee mugs when he tripped over my feet.
- to tolerate something (verb)
Example: Please bear with me, I am running for my life.
- to endure an ordeal or difficulty (verb)
Example: The hiker could not bear the stinking breath coming from the wolf’s drooling mouth.
- to give birth (which technically fits the description above of enduring an ordeal)
Example: She went on to bear five children, none of which was named Jennifer.
Bare also has a few different meanings, but not one of them is the same as ‘bear’:
- to uncover and expose something to view (verb)
Example: The wolf bared its teeth and the hiker ran like hell.
- to describe something that is uncovered (adjective)
Example: The hard ground hurt my bare feet as I ran from the wolf.
- to describe something basic or simple (adjective)
Example: I only did the bare minimum of study, so I couldn’t remember whether wolves and bears were enemies.
Bear and bare are not synonyms and cannot be used interchangeably. Please stop asking me to ‘bare with you’.