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Bare with Me or Bear with Me? Using the Right Homophone


Bare with me or bear with me? Sometimes the English language can be confusing. Homophones (words that sound the same) mix people up when it comes to spelling. These errors in spelling are often witnessed in expressions that involve homophones.

One specific homophonic word set that causes confusion is bear/ bare. When dropped into an expression this word set becomes more baffling. This bewilderment drives people to routinely ask: Is it bear with me or bare with me? What is the correct way to write this expression?

The answer to this inquiry may be surprising for some, but bear with me is the correct way to write this expression.

Why You Use Bear Instead of Bare

While both words sound the same their meanings are quite different. Each word would alter the expression in different ways. The expression is supposed to ask someone to be patient with them. One word can accomplish this feat while the other cannot.

Bear functions as a noun and a verb. As a noun, bear refers to a large animal. This definition does make sense in the terms of the expression so the noun bear definition can be ruled out. Instead, the verb usage of bear may be more apt. The word bear, when used as a verb, becomes synonymous with the word tolerate or the phrase put up with me.

In contrast, the term bare is an adjective that means to be naked or uncovered. This adjective can also be used to describe something that is basic or without addition.

Examples of the Word Bear/ Bare in a Sentence

I could no longer bear the crude men.

  • The word bear can be interchanged with the word tolerate to form a similar sentiment. Replacing the word bear in this sentence with bare would give the completed sentence a very different connotation. Not to mention, the sentence structure would have to change to make it grammatically correct because bare is an adjective and not a verb.

The sentence would appear like this when changing the word bear to bare:

I could no longer be bare with the crude men.

  • The sentence meaning changes with the word bare. It becomes more salacious.

Bear with Me vs Bare with Me

Keeping in mind the definitions of the word set bear/bare and how these words are used in a sentence you can clearly see which homophone works better in the expression. Bear with me reflects the sentiment of putting up with me. In contrast, bare with me suggests the writer may wish for a person to get naked with them.

This is a vastly different sentiment being communicated. One that goes against what the writer is trying to communicate by using the expression in the first place.

Using the Right Homophone in an Expression

If you are ever unsure which homophone you need to include in an expression you can substitute a synonym for each word in a homophone set. This will help you determine which word needs to be used to formulate your desired meaning.

Remembering the definitions connected with similar homophonic words can be difficult especially if the two words are spelled alike. Sometimes word tricks can help you keep the meanings straight.

Consider the expression bear with me. It asks for forbearance. The word bear can actually be found in the word forbearance. If you can remember the definition then you have a good chance at remembering which spelling of bear/bare to use.

Bare with Me or Bear with Me | Picture

Bare with Me or Bear with Me

Bare with Me or Bear with Me

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