Difference between Bare and Bear

Key Difference: The word ‘bare’ is an adjective which describes the state of being bare, i.e. of being exposed or lacking clothing. Being bare refers to being naked or lacking adornment. The word ‘bear’ is pretty obvious, it refers to a huge animal with claws and fur. However, bear can also refer to ‘to hold, to support, to exhibit, to carry oneself in a specified way, to endure, to give birth to, and to yield (especially fruit).’

Bare and Bear are homophones. Homophones are words that have the same pronunciation and phonetic sound, but mean different things. Similarly, bare and bear sound the same but are completely different from each other. These words cause trouble for English learners as well as for native speakers. This is further not helped by the fact that these words in fact have more than one meaning.

The word ‘bare’ is an adjective which describes the state of being bare, i.e. of being exposed or lacking clothing. Being bare refers to being naked or lacking adornment. However, ‘bare’ can also be used a verb, where to bare something means to expose something. This can refer to the body or to an inanimate object such as an artwork or a scheme. Example: a bare body, i.e. a naked body. To bare a scheme, i.e. to expose a scheme.

The word ‘bear’ is pretty obvious, it refers to a huge animal with claws and fur. However, bear can also refer to ‘to hold, to support, to exhibit, to carry oneself in a specified way, to endure, to give birth to, and to yield (especially fruit).’ For example: to bear weight, bear with me, to bear a child, to bear fruit, etc.

A simple way to remember which to use, ‘bear’ or ‘bare’, is to note that ‘bare’ is only used in the context of exposing or uncovering something. In nearly every other scenario, ‘bear’ would fit. Furthermore, the term ‘bear’ can usually be exchanges with ‘withstand’. Similarly, try exchanging ‘bare’ with expose to ensure that the word fits there. 

Comparison between Bare and Bear:

 

Bare

Bear

Description

As an adjective, bare means lacking clothing, naked, exposed to view, or lacking adornment. As a verb, it means to make bare, to uncover, or to expose.

Other than the animal, bear is a verb with a variety of meanings, none of which relate to uncovering or exposing. A few of its meanings are to hold, to support, to exhibit, to carry oneself in a specified way, to endure, to give birth to, and to yield (especially fruit).

Definition (Merriam-Webster)

  • Lacking a natural, usual, or appropriate covering or clothing <bare feet>
  • Lacking any tool or weapon <opened the box with his bare hands>
  • Open to view :  exposed <laying bare their secrets>
  • Unfurnished or scantily supplied <a bare room>
  • Destitute <bare of all safeguards>
  • Having nothing left over or added <the bare necessities of life>
  • Devoid of amplification or adornment <the bare facts>
  • Any one of a group of large and heavy animals that have thick hair and sharp claws and that can stand on two legs like a person
  • Something difficult to do or deal with <the oven is a bear to clean
  • To move while holding up and supporting (something)
  • To be equipped or furnished with (something)
  • Behave, conduct <bearing himself well>
  • To have as a feature or characteristic <bears a likeness to her grandmother>
  • To give as testimony <bear false witness>
  • To have as an identification <bore the name of John>
  • To hold in the mind or emotions <bear malice>
  • To give birth to <to bear a child>
  • To support the weight of
  • To accept or allow oneself to be subjected to especially without giving way <couldn't bear the pain> <I can't bear seeing you cry>
  • To call for as suitable or essential <it bears watching>
  • To carry or possess arms <to bear arms>

Parts of Speech

Adjective

Verb

Examples

  • There was a rug in the front room of the house, but the other floors were bare.
  • He covered her bare arms with his coat.
  • Her office was pretty bare, having only one desk and one chair.
  • He only told me the bare facts about what happened.
  • I have the right to bear arms.
  • I can’t the bear these responsibilities.
  • John can’t bear the weight of the statue alone.
  • The company agreed to bear the costs.
  • Who will bear the blame for this tragedy?

Image Courtesy: grammar.about.com, memecenter.com

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