Bare or Bear?

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What is the difference between bare and bear?

Bare means exposed (e.g., without clothes). For everything else, use bear.

Note: The term to bear fruit uses bear not bare. (This term is often mistakely written as to bare fruit.)

Bear or Bare

There is often confusion over the words bear and bare. This confusion arises because, knowing a bear is a large mammal (e.g., a brown bear), writers feel uncomfortable using bear in its other meanings. In fact, the word bear is a very versatile word. Here are common expressions with bear:

Bear

The word bear has many meanings:

To carry (in many senses of the word). To endure or to tolerate. To maintain a direction. A large mammal.

Bare

The adjective bare means uncovered, naked, or exposed (i.e., without cover, clothing or cladding).

Examples:

A Quick Test

Trust The Bear

Writers are very familiar with bear meaning a large mammal (e.g., grizzly bear). However, the word bear as many meanings. When they encounter these other meanings, some writers are attracted to bare because they know that bear denotes the large mammal. Well, unless you mean exposed or naked (i.e., bare), then bear is correct.

For example:

Bore, Borne, and Born

The past tense of to bear is bore. For example: The past passive participle of to bear is borne. For example: However, when talking about birth, the alternative participle born is used (as an adjective or in a passive sentence). For example: Note: The word before born is usually the verb to be (e.g., is, was, were, been).


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See Also

What are adjectives? What are verbs? List of easily confused words