Thursday, 4 September 2008

Really basic question!

Okay this is going to sound REALLY stupid but I've got a bit of a problem with deciding when to use the word 'bear' as a verb and when to use the word 'bare'.

Obviously 'bear' is a noun (animal) and bare means being naked/stripped but does anyone have some kind of easy rule I can use when using the word in the following types of sentences e.g.

I had to bear/bare his weight
I cannot bear/bare her
How do you bear/bare that?
The truth was laid bare/bear

Sorry to be so thick. And thanks in advance!

11 comments:

Kate.Kingsley said...

Not thick at all ~ we've all got these little 'blind spots'. I really despair at my grammatical rubbishness at times!.

IMO, those example are all 'bear' apart from the last one:
I had to bear his weight
I cannot bear her
How do you bear that?
The truth was laid bare

If you substitute 'tolerate' or 'endure'for 'bear' those first three still make sense, but not the fourth example. Probably not an infallible tip, but that's how I decided when I was reading through them.

Hope that helps (and hope someone else has a more eloquent trick to recommend!)

Leatherdykeuk said...

Verb: bear (bore,borne, also born) behr

1. Have
"bear a resemblance"; "bear a signature"

2. Cause to be born
- give birth, deliver, birth, have

3. Put up with something or somebody unpleasant
"I cannot bear his constant criticism"
- digest, endure, stick out, stomach, stand, tolerate, support, brook, abide, suffer, put up

4. Move while holding up or supporting
"Bear gifts"; "bear a heavy load"; "bear news"; "bearing orders"

5. Bring forth, "The apple tree bore delicious apples this year"
"The unidentified plant bore gorgeous flowers"
- turn out

6. Take on as one's own the expenses or debts of another person
"She agreed to bear the responsibility"
- take over, accept, assume

7. Contain or hold; have within
- hold, carry, contain

8. Bring in
"interest-bearing accounts"
- yield, pay

9. Have on one's person
"bear a scar"
- wear

10. Behave in a certain manner
"he bore himself with dignity"
- behave, acquit, deport, conduct, comport, carry

11. Have rightfully; of rights, titles, and offices
"She bears the title of Duchess"
- hold

12. Support or hold in a certain manner
- hold, carry

13. Be pregnant with
"She is bearing his child"
- have a bun in the oven, carry, gestate, expect

Leatherdykeuk said...

May I suggest you install the free Word Web program? http://wordweb.info/

I find it invaluable.

Calistro said...

Thanks Kate! That really helps.

And thanks Leather. I do look up bear/bare in dictionary.com whenever I'm not sure but I need some kind of mental trick so I don't have to keep doing that! Kate's bear/tolerate suggestion really helps.

B said...

Mostly it's bear. Bare means nekkid - so the truth was laid nekkid. If it doesn't mean that, then it's bear. To my (obviously not quite right) mind, anyway :)

Helen said...

I just noticed my latest post in Trashionista had the wrong bear. Sheesh, perfect timing of this question, thanks everyone.

DOT said...

My simplistic way of looking at it is to translate the the terms;

bear = carry
bare = naked

I had to carry his weight
I cannot carry her [in my thoughts]
How do you carry that [in your thoughts]
The truth was laid naked.

Obviously, leatherdykeuk has eclipsed everything I've said but I am a small bear of little brain.

Rowan Coleman said...

I can NEVER spell nessercary. See.

Calistro said...

Thanks everyone! Okay..so bare/naked and bear/carry/endure. Excellent!

Helen - So glad it's not just me! :o)

And *laughs* at Rowan. I know what you mean. And it took me 34 years before I learned to spell embarrassed properly *leaves hoping she's got it right*

KAREN said...

Yes, I was going to say what everyone already has - that bare only has one meaning, which is naked. So I won't say it ;o)

Annieye said...

You're not stupid at all. For years I needed a prompt for how to spell 'because'. It was Big Elephants Can Always Carry Small Elephants' - somehow it always looked wrong to me even when it was spelt right.