Grammar Bear With Me or Bare With Me: Which Should We Write? |
The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

Bear With Me or Bare With Me: Which Should We Write?

Sometimes two words that have similar spellings and the same pronunciation can cause confusion in our writing. You may have experienced such confusion if you have read the expressions bear with me and bare with me. When the phrase is spoken aloud, the spelling doesn’t matter, and you typically understand what’s being said. In writing, however, one phrase is most often correct and the other isn’t.

In today’s discussion, we’ll explain which phrase is correct and why.

Which Is the Right Version of Bear With Me?

As you might’ve guessed from our headline above, the correct version of the expression in question is bear with me.

That’s the quick answer. Let’s explore it further to help avoid a mistake in the future.

The word bear has a couple of meanings. The one most people think of is a noun that identifies a large, carnivorous mammal that has coarse and heavy fur and lives around forests and mountains.

As a verb, however, “to bear” means “to endure something.” So, when you’re asking someone to “bear with me,” what you really mean is “please endure the wait with me.” The shorter form of the same idea is easier and more common, so we use it much more frequently.

As a side note, we should also point out that “bare with me” isn’t necessarily incorrect—it just has a wildly different meaning from our primary phrase.

Since “to bare” means “to disrobe” (bare one’s skin), you could technically say “bare with me” if asking someone to remove their clothing. Such a request would of course require an appropriate context, and the other person might not understand the expression right away. All unorthodox language aside, you would pass grammatical screening.

Look Out for Other Kinds of Bears and Bares

Many common grammatical mistakes you’ll come across arise from the types of similarities and misunderstandings that exist between bear and bare. The easiest way to avoid them is simply to be precise with your understanding and selection of words. Make a print or online dictionary a constant companion. We are always here to support you with your grammar as well.

The more often you write and speak in a way that is grammatically correct, the easier it becomes. In other words, practice makes perfect, so just keep at it and you’ll quickly command the basics in your mission to master American English.

Continue Improving Your Grammar With Us

Excelling at American English is even more fun when you break things down into focused articles and easy-to-use tips. Visit us again soon for more discussions of both the finer and wider points of grammar.

We also welcome you to leave us a comment below if you have a thought or a question about our discussion on this page. If you have an idea for a useful or interesting article on grammar, you can share that with us as well!

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