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Bear vs. Bare

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  Angbeen Chaudhary  —  Grammar Tips
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There are actually three different words here, as bear has two different senses. Confusing these two words in your writing can cause you to look sloppy, so it’s important to keep track of what each word means and when it’s appropriate to use each one.

In this post, I will compare bear vs. bare. I will go over their definitions and outline their functions in a sentence. Plus, at the end of the post, I will give you a trick to remember the difference. After reading this post, you won’t ever again second guess yourself by saying, “Should I use bear or bare?”


The word bear originated from Old English beran, of Germanic origin; from an Indo-European root shared by Sanskrit bharati, Greek pherein, and Latin ferre. Bear also originated from Old English bera, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch beer and German Bär.

Bear as noun:

Bear is used as a noun to describe a large, heavy mammal which walks on the soles of its feet, having thick fur and a very short tail. Bears are related to the dog family but have an omnivorous diet.

They killed a bear on their hunting trip.

Bear as verb:

Bear is used as a verb which means to carry.

He was bearing a tray of brimming glasses.

Bear also means to support; carry the weight of.

Walls which cannot bear a stone vault.

To endure (an ordeal or difficulty) is also termed as bear.

She bore the pain stoically.

Bear is used to describe the action of giving birth to (a child).

She bore sixteen daughters.

Bear vs. Bare

Bare as verb:

Bare is used as a verb which means to uncover (a part of the body or other thing) and expose it to view.

He bared his chest to show his scar.

Bare as adjective:

Bear describes a person who is not clothed or covered.

He was bare from the waist up.


SAC will bear the brunt of any costs arising from the probe. [New York Post]

Blowing and drifting snow and cold temperatures continued to make it difficult for any of the snow removers to reach bare pavement. [Champaign/Urbana News-Gazette]

Bear in mind too that other employment indices have been strong. [The Business Insider]

Now, however, the 31-year-old television presenter has agreed to bare all in a confessional internet diary. [Telegraph]

The debate on the House floor came down to the right to bear arms versus the rights of private property owners. [Daily Herald]

Bear or bare:

The words bear and bare have very different meanings, so it’s important to use them correctly in our writing. Bear is a noun and a verb. A bear is a large mammal; to bear is to carry. Bare is an adjective and a verb and refers to being exposed. Here is a fun trick to remember bare vs. bear. If you can remember this self-checks, you should be all set. Check one: To bear something is to carry it. A bear can bear a heavy load. If you can remember this mnemonic, you will be able to differentiate bare vs. bear. Check two: Additionally, to bare something is to expose it. Both bare and expose end in the letter “e.”

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