'Bear' or 'bare'?

Bare B A R E or Bear B E A R?

Which one do you use when?

If you’re using an adjective or describing word meaning ‘naked’ or ‘basic’ that’s easy - it’s always B A R E, as in:

"The cupboard was bare.""


"She went out in bare feet."

But if it’s a verb or doing word you’re after, it could be either of these two spellings depending on what you’re trying to say.

Bare - B A R E - like the adjective ‘bare’ is associated with nakedness, meaning to uncover or expose, as in:

"Have you noticed it’s now fashionable for men to bare their ankles?"

(Seriously, have you noticed this too? Apparently, male ankles or ‘mankles’ are are supposed to make us ladies swoon, although I look at that and I think fungal infection).

But I digress. Just remember, bare - BARE- is always associated with fungal inf. . . I mean nakedness.

And one way to remember the spelling of this word, is to think of the phrase ‘Dare to bare’.

In contrast, bear - B E A R - has nothing to do with nakedness.

Rather, it means to carry or wear. Either literally as in:

"She who bears the crown bears its weight."

Or figuratively, meaning to endure, as in:

"I can’t bear to watch this silly film any more."

So just remember. Always use B E A R - unless you’re alluding to nudity.

And that while we in the UK aren’t allowed to carry guns...

Man firing pistol at firing range

we are allowed to wear sleeveless tops.

Bodybuilder with sleeveless top

And if you want someone to show patience for you while you explain something to them.

Bored women on phone

Make sure you’re that’s what you’re really asking them to do. Not asking them to strip off or - worse - join you in the trend for exposing those mankles.

Men with bare ankles

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