Bear or Bare (Witness, Fruit, the Brunt)

by Craig Shrives

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The Quick Answer
Use "bear" with "to bear witness," "to bear fruit," and "to bear the brunt."

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

Bear Witness, Bear Fruit, and Bear the Brunt

Writers are highly familiar with "bear" meaning a large mammal (e.g., grizzly bear), and this causes some to opt for "bare" when using some common expressions (because they know that a "bear" denotes the large mammal). Well, unless you mean exposed or naked (the meaning of "bare"), then you should almost certainly be using "bear," which is a word with many meanings. Here are four common expressions with "bear":
  • Bear witness
  • Bear fruit
  • Bear the brunt
  • Bear with me
Using "bare" with these expressions might not be be wrong, but it will certainly alter the meaning.
  • Bare witness
  • (This is wrong unless you mean a witness with no clothes on.)
  • Bare fruit
  • (This is wrong unless you mean a fruit with no dressing, peel, or skin.)
  • Bare the brunt
  • (This is wrong.)
  • Bare with me
  • (This is wrong.)
Read more about "bare" and "bear" (including "born" and "borne").
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See Also

More about bare and bear (including born and borne) List of easily confused words

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