This is part of the difference between series.

Recently, someone asked me to explain the difference between the words bear and bare. Here’s the difference between the two.

Bear

Bear is not only a noun that refers to a large furry mammal; it’s also a verb that means to carry something, to endure, or to tolerate.

  • We should bear one another’s burdens.
  • Our basement walls can’t bear the weight of a third storey addition.
  • I could bear his cynicism no longer.

Bare

Bare, on the other hand, is a verb that refers to uncovering.

  • Through tears and sobs, he bare all his transgressions to her.
  • Every time she laughed, she bared her brilliantly white teeth.
  • Rolling up his sleeve, he bared his secret tattoo.

An easy way to remember this is that bare, as an adjective, is synonymous with naked, as in “bare bum” for example.

Which words do you confuse? Let me know in the comments below.

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About Kim Siever

I am a copywriter and copyeditor. I blog on writing tips mostly, but I sometimes throw in my thoughts about running a small business. Follow me on Twitter at @hotpepper.

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