The English language is as confusing as it is enriching. Take homophones, for example, they are so mind-boggling at times that even the most accomplished language experts can falter. All too often some of us make embarrassing language mistakes, unintentionally putting ourselves into awkward situations. Bear with me for a few minutes and read along to clarify one of the most confusing phrases in the English language.
Today, we’re going to center our article on one of the most common language confusions writers face: Bear vs. bare. Many people have fallen prey to this common language mistake, thus emailing their bosses, customers, clients to bare with them instead of bear with them.
It is not only the incorrect usage of words that’s the problem here: the real problem is how the confusion changes the implication of one’s words. Any person would drown in embarrassment if they inadvertently invited another to shed their clothes with them, instead of bear with them.
Sigh! But such is the play of words and a tiny unintentional slip in confusion can often create unpleasant experiences for us. Below, we will discuss the correct spelling and uses of the very common phrase, “Bear with me”.
Bare with me or Bear with me- Which is Correct?
First, let’s clear the confusion before we explain. The correct phrase is bear with me, not with the word bare. Any dictionary will tell you that the word bare means to uncover or reveal. Now if we were to say, “Please bare with us”, wouldn’t that sound like an invitation to undress or unclothe? It would and we don’t need to outline just how uneasy it would make the recipient of your message feel.
Bear on the other hand, means to exercise patience or to tolerate. It is exactly what you request from your listener, to be patient with you while you complete a task or achieve a given thing. The confusion between the two words is very natural and inevitable: when we write in a flow at a certain pace, often we do not pause to pay attention to our vocabulary choice.
As such, it can be all too easy to state the wrong word without registering the confusion. One simple way to clear this confusion for good in your mind is to associate bear with a visual. Take a look at the image below:
By implanting this visual in your mind, it would be easier to remember the correct word when using the phrase in your text. This bear is both a noun and a verb too.
As a noun, a bear is a huge omnivorous animal and surely an easy one to remember. But as a verb, the same spelling of the word means to be patient with or to tolerate. In most cases, this word is a more relevant one for your phrase. Let’s take a closer look at how below:
Exploring the Meaning of Bear with Me
Typically, whenever a person uses the phrase “bear with me”, they are requesting the other for patience or forbearance while dealing with them. When you send this phrase to another, you want them to hear you out, understand you, and give you some time. You request them through this phrase to not take you to task just yet.
You would perhaps be asking for the other to let you explain what happened before they castigate you for a fault. Perhaps the primary reason why this confusion occurs is that bear and bare are both homophones and people are often not clear about their meanings.
Homophones are words with the same pronunciations but different spellings. Bear and bare are homophones just as dual and duel are. Let’s clear the confusion on the other homophone for you below.
Bare with Me- What it means
The word bare is an adjective and it means to uncover, reveal, go naked or lack covering. You will usually see the adjective at use in sentences like the following:
- Do you usually leave your car bare with no cover at night?
- My house is completely bare of furniture and home accessories.
- We found the body lifeless and bare on the shore.
A look at these sentences will surely explain why bare with me would surely sound like an invitation to undress. In most cases, at least professionally and as propriety demands, this is never the intended meaning of the writer.
Correct Use of the Expression, “Bear with me”
Now that you know the correct meaning, spelling, and usage of both the homophones, let’s look at some examples below. Here are a few demonstrations of the correct use of the phrase under discussion.
- Can you bear with me till I complete this assignment?
- Please bear with me till I explain what happened the other day.
- Please bear with me. I have just moved in and am in the process of setting up the house.
- The student couldn’t bear it any longer: he had to quit his course.
Homophones can be a trifle confusing. If your children struggle with grammar concepts too, you can use Engish Language Art Workbooks to give them extra practice. Parents and teachers will find these books an extremely helpful resource.
Knowing the correct meanings and spellings helps in using them correctly in our text. We hope our explanation above has helped clear the confusion for you between bear with me and bare with me.