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Bath vs. Bathe—Learn the Difference

Updated on September 30, 2022Grammar

In American English, bath is always a noun. When you take a bath, it means you wash yourself in a tub of water. The verb form (for Americans) is to bathe.

In British English, bath is also a verb—one baths . For Brits, to bathe means to swim or to pour liquid on something.

Bath and bathe only differ in spelling by one letter, but there is a big difference in pronunciation and how they function in a sentence. Find out now!

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When to use bathe

To bathe means to wash (in American English) or to swim (in British English). In both dialects, it also means to immerse something in liquid. Bathe rhymes with “lathe.” Here are some examples of bathe in a sentence:

Gigi gritted her teeth as she bathed in the frigid sea. (British English)

Gregory bathes his dog in a plastic pool made for children. (American English)

After today’s hike, I need to take a hot bathe .

When to use bath

In American English, bath is a noun that refers to the act of washing something. Bath is also used to refer to the liquid, container, or room used for washing. In British English, bath can be a verb, meaning “to take a bath” or “to wash.” Bath rhymes with “path.”

The trainer made an ice bath for the injured athlete.

Nadine doesn’t like the green tiles of her bath , but she can’t afford to replace them.

I can’t wait to get home and take a bath . (American English)

Most children don’t really understand why they need to bath daily. (British English)

Examples of bath and bathe

I am sure there are things that can’t be cured by a good bath but I can’t think of one.
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Donna Kielly says the tap water in her Gaskiers-Point La Haye home is the colour of “dark apple juice,” and she worries about using it to bathe .
CBC News

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