Difference Between Bear and Bare

Main Difference – Bear vs Bare

Bear and bare are two homophones (words that sound the same) that are often misused. These two words are frequently misused when they are being used as verbs. The main difference between bear and bare is that the verb bare means to uncover or expose something to view whereas the verb bear has several meanings include carry, endure, support and give birth. In addition, bear is also used as a noun.

This article looks at, 

1. What Does Bear Mean – Grammar, Meaning and Usage

2. What Does Bare Mean – Grammar, Meaning and Usage

3. Difference Between Bear and Bare – Comparison of Meaning and UsageDifference Between Bear and Bare - Bear vs Bare Comparison Summary

What Does Bear Mean

Bear has a lot of meanings. The verb bear also has many different meanings. The past tense of bear is bore.

Given below are some of these meanings.


She could not bear the pain stoically.

How do they bear his presence?


No one volunteered to bear the responsibility of organizing the event.

These walls cannot bear the weight of iron beams.


He saw a waiter bearing a tray full of Champaign glasses.

A maiden bearing a shield was an unusual sight at the time.

Give birth to

The queen bore six children.

She has lost the ability to bear children.

It was a plant that bears fruits and flowers simultaneously.

The noun bear refers to a large mammal (as shown in the following image) 

Main Difference - Bear vs Bare

What Does Bare Mean

The word bare is mainly used as an adjective and a verb. As an adjective, bare means exposed, naked, or not clothed, when referring to a person or a part of the body. For example,

Her bare foot was blistered.

They threw a blanket over his bare body.

She was bare from the waist up.

Bare can also mean simple and basic, without addition. For example,

The room contained bare minimal of furniture.

After he had explained the bare essentials of the project, we initiated the first stage.

As a verb, bare means to uncover something and expose it to view. Look at the following examples to understand this meaning better.

He bared his chest to show the wound.

They cut the dress open with a knife, baring her body.  

The verb bare is only used to express the above meaning. For everything else, you can use bear.

Difference Between Bear and Bare


Difference Between Bear and Bare

Grammatical Category

Bear is a noun and a verb.

Bare is an adjective and a verb.


Bear means to carry, endure, support or give birth.

Bare, as a verb, means to uncover something and expose it to view. As an adjective, bare means exposed, naked, or simple and basic, without addition.

Past Tense

Bear becomes bore in the past tense.

Bare becomes bared in the past tense.


Bear cannot be used as an adjective.

Bare cannot be used as a noun.

Image Courtesy:

“Brown bear (Ursus arctos arctos) running” By I, Malene via

“Healthy feet” By Lorenz kerscher at English Wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons. via

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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