Homophones sound the same but are spelled differently. People often confuse homophone pairs, and bare and bear are no exception. Which phrase is correct—bear with me or bare with me?
The difference between bear and bare
Besides being the name of a big furry animal, bear functions as a verb. It means to tolerate, to carry something, or to endure.
Bare functions as an adjective or a verb. As an adjective, it can mean minimal, naked, uncovered, or without supplies. The verb bare means to reveal or open something to view.
How to remember the difference
To forbear means to be patient despite annoyance or provocation. Encapsulated in the word forbear is the verb bear. If you associate bear with the meaning and spelling of forbear, you will never confuse it with bare.
Commonly confused phrases with bear or bare
Here are some phrases that contain bear or bare. These phrases might have confused you before, but you should easily understand them now. For instance, is it bear with me or bare with me?
Bear with me means “be patient with me.”
My husband bears with me even when I am grumpy.
Bear in mind means “keep in mind.”
Bear in mind that the forecast calls for rain today.
Bear the cost (or expense) means “to pay for something.”
The company considered hiring additional staff, but it couldn’t bear the cost.
Bare minimum means “the least possible.”
Keep costs to a bare minimum.
Bear weight means “support.”
The builders designed the structure to bear weight.
Bear the pain means “endure the pain.”
Ask for an aspirin if you can’t bear the pain.
To bear fruit means “to have positive results.”
Studying really bears fruit on exam day.