Bare with me or bear with me – which one is correct?

Bare with me or bear with me? As the English language loves to play tricks, both words bare and bear exist and are used. Moreover, they belong to the group of homophones. It means that their pronunciation does not differ. Yet, only one of them shall be combined with the phrase with me. Is it bare or bear? Let’s find out!

bare with me or bear with me which form is correct meaning difference examples

Bare and bear – what’s the difference?

Bare may be an adjective that means naked or empty. As a verb, it means to uncover. The word bare is a part of such expressions as the bare minimum, which means the smallest possible quantity, or the bare necessities, which stands for the essential things. In insurance, the phrase to go bare means being without insurance. The expression with your bare hands is used when something is done without the help of any tool. The most commonly used phrases are barefoot and bare naked. In English slang, bare might be used as an adverb or determiner that means very or a lot.

Bear, on the other hand, has multiple meanings as a verb. It signifies accepting, especially something unpleasant. Moreover, it may denote supporting, the act of bringing something, or even changing direction. Last, but not least, it refers to giving birth or producing a plant. Bear also has its place among nouns where it indicates a big mammal and, in slang, it refers to a hairy older man. In finances, a bear is a person that sells shares to buy them at a lower price at a more convenient time. Bear is a feature of numerous expressions, such as: bear a resemblance, bear testimony, bear false witness, the average bear, or to be like a bear with a sore head.

Bare with me or bear with me – which one is correct?

Let’s make it clear once and for all! Is it bare or bear? The correct answer is: bear with me. This expression is used while explaining something and one asks the audience to stay focused, to listen on and to be patient.

Examples of bare and bear in sentences

Don’t look at me like that. I do care about him, Mummy. I do. He’s my brother and I love him. But I can’t bear it. I can’t bear even the thought of it.

Jojo Moyes, Me Before You

My upper arms bear more worrying marks, dark, oval impressions that look like fingerprints. This is not necessarily sinister, I have had them before, usually from when I’ve fallen and someone has helped me up.

Paula Hawkins, The Girl on the Train

He had moved to a cushioned chair between the bed and the window, his bare feet draped over an ottoman.

John Grisham, The Partner

The wolf-dog growled at me and bared its teeth. The growl became loud and shrill, more like a scream. I did what anyone would do. I ran.

Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl, Beautiful Creatures

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Student of Applied Linguistics at the University of Warsaw. Enthusiast of books, movies, and music. In her free time, she rides a bike, swims, and goes for walks. In the future, she dreams of a career as a translator.