Bear or Bare with Me?

by Craig Shrives
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The Quick Answer

Use "bear" with "bear with me."

"Bare" means exposed or naked (e.g., without clothes). For everything else, use "bear."

Bear with Me

We all know that a "bear" is a large mammal (e.g., polar bear, grizzly bear). To differentiate from that, some writers are tempted to use "bare" in expressions such as "bear with me," "bear witness," "bear fruit," "cannot bear it," and "bear the brunt."

In fact, "bear" is a highly versatile word. As a verb, it has many meanings, one of which is "to endure." For example:
  • Bear with me correct tick
  • Bear the pressure correct tick
"Bare," on the other hand, is not a versatile word. It means only exposed, naked, or empty. So, unless you mean one of those, you should almost certainly be using "bear." Read more about "bare" and "bear" (including "born" and "borne").

Common Terms with Bear

Here are five common expressions with "bear":
  • Bear with me correct tick
  • Bear witness correct tick
  • Bear fruit correct tick
  • Bear the brunt correct tick
  • Cannot bear it correct tick
Using "bare" with some of these expressions might not be be wrong, but it will change the meaning.
  • Bare witness wrong cross
  • (This is wrong unless you mean a witness with no clothes on.)
  • Bare fruit wrong cross
  • (This is wrong unless you mean a fruit with no dressing, peel, or skin.)

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