Saturday, May 7, 2011

Bear vs Bare

I recently read a article where the writer used the word ‘bare’ where there should have been ‘bear’ (as in verb, not noun). This is actually more common than I originally thought, so here is the correct usages.

Bear - 1. to support the weight of
           2. to be indulgent, patient, or forbearing with (someone)

There are a lot of other possibilities, but these are the ones I think cause the most trouble.

Bare - : to make or lay (something) bare : UNCOVER

So when someone types ‘bare with me’, it is probably not what he/she meant. Bear with me. The soldiers bear arms. Not ‘bare’.
In general, if you want to use ‘bear’ or ‘bare’, it will probably be the former, unless it has something to do with uncovering.
For example, ‘Peter bears a secret’ means that he has the burden of a secret, while ‘Peter bares a secret’ means that he is telling the secret.

Bear – Most often used; To support or be patient with, among other things. Easiest way is to use when ‘bare’ is not applicable. (e.g. “This will be a long speech, but please bear with me.”)
Bare – Uncover, to lay bare. (e.g. “John bared his chest to show his scar”)

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