Is It Bear With Me or Bare With Me? Differences Explained

By Alan Reiner – December 18, 2023

In the world of common expressions, you may come across homophones that can lead to confusion in spelling and meaning. One such example is deciding whether to use “bear with me” or “bare with me” in your writing. Understanding the correct usage requires looking at the verbs bear and bare and their distinct meanings.

By having a clear understanding of both verbs and their contexts, you can confidently and accurately use “bear with me” in your writing and avoid the common grammatical mistake of using “bare with me” instead.

Bear with Me vs. Bare with Me: Which is Correct?

You might have come across the phrases “bear with me” and “bare with me” and wondered which one is correct. The appropriate phrase to use is “bear with me.” It means to be patient or endure something patiently. When you ask someone to “bear with me,” you’re requesting their tolerance and understanding during a situation.

a calm bear sitting patiently next to a ticking clock; this visual metaphor for patience, symbolizing the expression “bear with me”

On the other hand, “bare with me” is an incorrect usage of the expression. The word “bare” means to uncover or reveal something. This would imply undressing or exposing oneself, which is not the intended message in this context.

a human hand uncovering or pulling away a piece of cloth to capture the essence of ‘bare’

To remember the correct phrase, associate “bear with me” with the noun “forbearance,” which means self-control, patience, and tolerance. Keep in mind that “bear” and “forbearance” share the same spelling, making it easier for you to use the right expression in your conversations and writing.

Strategies for Accurately Recalling the Correct Spelling of “Bear with Me”

If you’re still finding it challenging to distinguish between “bear” and “bare,” consider this mnemonic strategy that incorporates both the noun and verb forms of “bear.” As a verb, “bear” signifies “to exhibit patience,” while as a noun, it refers to a large, furry mammal. 

Formulating a memorable sentence that integrates these dual meanings can assist in accurately remembering the appropriate usage of “bear with me,” as opposed to the incorrect “bare with me.” For instance: “A patient bear will demonstrate forbearance, while an impatient bear could potentially pose a threat.”

Bear with Me in Context: Example Sentences

Bear with me is a commonly used idiom in the English language. When you ask someone to “bear with me,” you’re asking for their patience while you explain, complete a task, or address an inconvenience. 

Although it might sound like the word “bare” is being used, it is essential to remember that “bear” is the correct term in this case. Here are some example sentences to show the idiom “bear with me” in various contexts.

an individual deeply focused in a modern workspace environment, conveying the sense of urgency to meet a tight deadline
  • Example 1: As a professional writer working on a tight deadline, you might say to your editor, “Bear with me while I finish this paragraph, and I’ll send it right over.”
  • Example 2: If you’re explaining a complicated topic to a friend, you could say, “This might take a few minutes to explain, so please bear with me.”
  • Example 3: During a presentation, if you experience technical difficulties, you might ask your audience, “Could you all please bear with me while I resolve this issue?”

It is crucial to understand that “bear with me” is used figuratively, not literally. In this context, “bear” means to endure or tolerate an inconvenience rather than referring to the animal. 

When reading or listening to English language material, knowing the correct usage of idioms such as “bear with me” will ensure you accurately interpret the intended meaning.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the correct usage: “bear with me” or “bare with me”?

The correct expression is “bear with me,” which means to be patient or to wait for someone. The term “bare with me” could imply stripping naked, which is not the intended meaning in this context.

Can you provide an example of “bear with me” in a sentence?

Certainly. Here’s a sentence using “bear with me”: “Bear with me for a moment while I find the correct document.”

How do I use “bear with me” in an email context?

When using “bear with me” in an email, you can incorporate it into a sentence asking for patience or understanding. For example, “I am currently working on your request, so please bear with me while I gather the necessary information.”

What are some synonyms for “bear with me”?

Some synonyms for “bear with me” include: “please be patient,” “hang on,” “give me a moment,” “hold on,” and “wait a second.”

What is the origin of the phrase “bear with me”?

The origin of the expression “bear with me” comes from the verb “bear,” which means to tolerate or endure. The phrase has been in use in its current form since the 16th century.

Is it “bear in mind” or “bare in mind”?

The correct expression is “bear in mind,” which means to keep something in consideration or to remember. “Bare in mind” would be incorrect since “bare” refers to exposure or revealing, not retaining a thought.