Some people can barely tell the difference between ‘bare’ and ‘bear,’ and I can’t bear the sight of those sentences.
Bear with me, I’m not saying that my mastery of the queen’s language isn’t 100%, but some things (i.e., knowing the difference between bare and bear) ought to be the bare minimum.
Enough with my boring wordplay. The issue at hand is the difference between “bear with me” and “bare with me.”
If you are one of those who get these two confused, you might be asking whether it’s “bear with me” or “bare with me.”
It’s time to get rid of the confusion. Let’s get started.
Is It Bear With Me or Bare With Me?
The confusion arises because “bear” and “bare” are homophones (they are pronounced the same way but have different meanings).
So, when we speak, “bare” and “bear” sound the same, and we don’t worry about the correct spelling.
It doesn’t matter, as long as the sentence makes sense.
It’s a whole different dynamic when we write the two words. In this case, context determines the right word and hence the right spelling.
When you’re writing, you’ve got to know the correct expression and carefully choose between ‘bare with me’ or ‘bear with me.’
Before I explain the difference, let me give you two examples:
- [INCORRECT] Please, people, bare with me, I’m still looking for suitable partners.
- [CORRECT] Sam Johnson wanted his parents to bear with him while he sorted out his financial problems.
The first thing to get out of your mind when you are confronted by this confusion is the noun version and adjective versions of the two words.
You have to look at the words as verbs, especially ‘bear’, which is the correct one in this case.
To bear is to “put up with something,” “endure,” “suffer,” “experience,” “go through,” “support,” or “tolerate.”
On the other hand, to bare is to “reveal,” “make visible,” “allow others to see,” “make public,” et cetera.
The expression “bear with me” means to “put up with me,” “be patient with me,” “endure this with me,” or “tolerate my situation for now.”
And that, my friends, is the reason the word “bare” makes more sense than ‘bare’ in the expression, “bear with me.”
If you use “bare with me,” the meaning of the expression changes and it might sound dirty or offensive.
- Have you not love enough to bear with me, when that rash humor which my mother gave me makes me forgetful—William Shakespeare.
- Bear with me, I am still recovering as I have seen people leaving earlier than promised—Sumi.
- Not only had my brother disappeared, but—and bear with me here—a part of my very being had gone with him—John Corey Whaley.
How to Differentiate Bear with Me from Bare with Me
If the expression is still giving you problems after learning the meanings of the two verbs, I have two easy ways to remember which word (between bear and bare) to use.
1. Remember I said bare means to reveal or allow others to see? Well, let’s just think of it as stripping.
So, instead of thinking that one word is correct and the other is incorrect, think about it in terms of moral and immoral.
“bare with me” sounds like you’re saying, “Let’s get naked, together!”
2. (I read this one somewhere, so I’m going to claim it) Since the expression is a plea for patience and tolerance, think of the patience of a bear (yes, the animal).
I’m not saying that you have to use the noun form of the word (a large furry animal) but use it to remind yourself that a patient bear bears with you, every time.
Other Words Synonymous with “Bear With Me”
You might feel like the best way to get over this expression “bear with me” is to not use it all.
Nobody wants to have incorrect spellings in their business documents or professional presentations.
It’s not only for the writer, the audience has to be considered too. In a culturally diverse audience, there might be people from regions where English is spoken as a second language.
Such members of the audience would have trouble understanding some expressions, such as “bear with me.”
So, maybe, you could use alternative phrases or words that convey the same message.
Here are some examples:
- Sir, please wait a moment.
- I’d like to ask for your patience as we get everything back to normal again.
- Ladies and gentlemen, please be patient with me as I first sort out the accommodation arrangements for the VVIPs. I shall sort out yours after that.
- Please, spare me a moment or two to get your food ready.
- Madam, I’ll be right with you.
Other Expressions with Bear or Bare
Apart from the expression discussed in this post, bear and bear are in a few other common phrases.
The idiom, bare minimum, means “as small or low as possible.”
Barebones are the most basic facts or elements.
Bear in Mind
The phrase, bear in mind, translates to “take into account.” The ‘bear’ in this phrase refers to words like “allow,” “remember,” or “concede.”
To bare all means to reveal everything. It might be stripping naked (removing all your clothes) or revealing secrets.
Final Words on Bear with Me or Bare with Me
My beloved reader, bear with me as I reiterate the difference between “bear with me” and “bare with me.”
Of course, you shouldn’t write “bare with me” instead of “bear with me.”
Although bear and bare sound the same, it doesn’t mean they mean the same thing. You should always use the example of a patient bear, patiently waiting for you to leave its territory.
The patient bear bears with you.
That’s all you need to remember; everything else will sort itself out.
If not, you can use alternatives such as “be patient with me,” “give me a minute,” and others.