5th October 2015
Word Choice: Bare vs. Bear
Homophones – similar sounding words that differ in meaning – can cause a lot of confusion, especially if English isn’t your first language.
The terms “bare” and “bear,” for example, are pronounced identically, yet mean completely different things.
As such we’ve prepared this guide on how to use “bare” and “bear” correctly, helping to ensure your written work is always at its best.
The Meaning of “Bare”
The term “bare” can be used as either an adjective or a verb. As an adjective it has two main uses, meaning either “uncovered” or “naked”:
Since going bald, Donald always hid his bare head with a wig.
Or it can mean “plain” or “simple”:
Hilary stuck to the bare facts.
Find this useful?
Subscribe to our newsletter and get writing tips from our editors straight to your inbox.
As a verb, “bare” means “uncover”:
Terry bared his chest and show off his tattoos.
The Various Meanings of “Bear”
The word “bear” is a little more difficult to define as it has a number of meanings. The most simple of these is when it’s used as a noun, referring to the large, furry, ursine animal:
The American black bear is native to many parts of the USA and Canada.
As a verb, “to bear” has a number of different meanings:
- Carry or support (“the bus could bear up to fifty people”)
- Withstand or tolerate (“I can’t bear rude people”)
- Display a mark (“the letter would bear her signature”)
- Bring forth (“to bear children,” “to bear fruit”)
- Turn in a specific direction (“bear left at the end of the road”)
- Give testimony (“bear witness”)
There are also a few technical meanings of the word “bear.” In finance, for instance, a “bear” is an investor who bases decisions upon the belief that a stock or the overall market will decline. Generally, though, you will only need to know these extra meanings when writing about particular subjects.
3 Services for Transcribing Audio to Text
If you’ve been manually transcribing your audio files to text, it’s time to upgrade. With...
Grammar Tips: Transitive Verbs
At its most basic, a fully-functioning sentence in English will need a subject and a...
How to Write an Annual Report
Writing an annual report can be an overwhelming task to undertake. In this article, we’ll...
How To Cite Course Material in Harvard Referencing
As a student, course material can be a valuable resource when writing a paper or...
How to Write Blank Verse Poetry
Ever heard of blank verse? It’s poetry that doesn’t rhyme but follows a regular meter....
Grammar Tips: Prepositions
In the English language, prepositions can be tricky to master because they’re usually idiomatic. However,...
institutions and businesses