WRITING TIPS, TOOLS, AND TIDBITS!: BARE versus BEAR

Writers Unite!’s mission is to offer a haven for writers to share their work and hone their craft. As the writing process is our focus, author, and WU! admin, Lynn Miclea has created a series of “tips, tools, and tidbits” about writing for our members or anyone interested in writing to help improve their writing. Check the menu bar for any tips you may have missed or click on this link.

Writing Tips, Tools, and Tidbits!

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BARE versus BEAR

People often mix up the words bare and bear. Although these words sound the same, they have different meanings and uses. This should help to use them properly.

Bare can be an adjective, meaning naked, nude, uncovered, or minimal. It can also be a verb meaning to expose or reveal something. If you mean to be naked or expose something, use bare.

Examples:

  • She was uncomfortable showing bare skin, even in front of the doctor.
  • He opened the closet and found it completely empty and bare.
  • It was too cold to go out with bare feet, so she put on shoes.
  • The cupboard was bare in the new house.
  • She felt comfortable enough to bare her soul to him.
  • He hated the job and did the bare minimum.
  • She wanted to get down to the bare bones.
  • He bared his chest to show off his muscles.
  • Her clothes revealed a bare midriff.
  • He stepped back when the dog bared its teeth.

Bear can be a noun, meaning a large, furry animal. It can also be a verb, meaning to tolerate or endure something. If you mean an animal or to tolerate or endure something, use bear.

Examples:

  • She was excited to see a bear on her trip to Yellowstone.
  • He could not bear the thought of not seeing her again.
  • The suitcase weighed too much for her to bear.
  • Please bear with me while I get ready.
  • He knew he’d have to bear the cost for the trip.
  • She couldn’t bear the pain any longer.
  • He could not bear to watch her suffer.
  • The teacher asked the class to bear with her as she set up the slides.
  • That beam can easily bear the weight of the second floor.
  • She felt like she had to bear the brunt of what happened.

Basically, if you mean to be naked or reveal something, use bare. For everything else, use bear.

If you want an adjective meaning nude, empty, or minimal, or a verb meaning to uncover or reveal something, use bare.

If you want a verb meaning carrying, supporting, or enduring, use bear.

She couldn’t bear to bare her soul.

Please look at the chart for an easy summary and helpful reminder.

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I hope you find this helpful. These tips and more grammar tips and tools are also on my website and blog, and also in my Grammar Tips book. Thank you!
Website – https://www.lynnmiclea.com/
Blog – https://lynnpuff.wordpress.com/
Grammar Tips Book – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09N2BQMCG/