'Bear With Me' or 'Bare With Me'? (Definitions and Examples)

By Carly Forsaith, updated on September 20, 2022

You're here because you're wondering what the correct spelling is for the famous expression - 'bear with me' or 'bare with me'. 

The answer is 'bear with me.' That is the only correct way to write this sentence. 'Bare with me' is incorrect. 

If you wish to know more about the sentence, such as what it means, how to use it, and why there's confusion around the spelling, then continue reading!

What Does 'Bare With Me' Mean?

Firstly, we will get into the meaning of the expression and the words it is composed of. Then, we will list examples of proper usage of the phrase.

Meaning of 'Bear With Me'

'Bear with me' is an expression, meaning it is a group of words used to convey an idea. Using the words separately would not carry the same meaning. Using them together allows you to express what you are trying to say.

To ask someone to bear with you is to ask them to be patient with you, or to wait while you work through a lengthy situation or process.  

The meaning will make more sense if you understand the meaning of the verb 'to bear,' so we will now move on to the word's definition.

Different Meanings of Bear

The word 'bear' can be either a noun or a verb.

The noun 'bear' refers to the wild animal, as you likely already know. We do not need to concern ourselves with this definition for the purposes of this article.

'Bear' as a verb is much more relevant to our current topic. One of the many meanings of this verb is to endure something until it is over. It is used when something is expected to be difficult to tolerate because the duration will be long, and the comfort level will be low. 

The Cambridge Dictionary defines it as to accept, tolerate, or endure something, especially something unpleasant. 

Let us further help you understand the meaning of the expression by giving examples of the expression in use.

Sentence Examples Using 'Bear With Me'

  • You'll have to bear with him if you take any stairs - his knees aren't what they used to be.
  • We plan to organize the books better, but you'll have to bear with us while we look for a new librarian.
  • Please bear with me before we head off as I check whether there are any bears on the trail.

Some Grammar Tips

If you want to understand further the meaning of 'bear with me,' the purpose of expressions in the English language, and why there's confusion around the spelling of 'bear' vs. 'bare,' this next section is for you.

What is an Expression?

Expressions are a group of words and are a great way to express ideas that might be difficult to get across with one word only. 

There are different types of expressions. 'Bear with' is the phrasal verb kind. To use a phrasal verb, you must use all the words together in a specific order. Mixing the words around or replacing some words with others would change the meaning and no longer serve its intended purpose. 

Some other examples of phrasal verbs are:

  • Get over - to overcome something.
    Sally got over the flu pretty quickly.'
  • Let go of - to release your hold
    'Don't let go of the lead, or the dog might run away.'
  • Think over - to consider something
    'It's a great offer, but I'll have to take some time to think it over.
  • Come up - when a topic appears in conversation
    'We've never discussed it because it hasn't come up.'

What is a Homophone?

'Bear' and 'bare' are homophones. That means they sound the same but have different meanings.

This explains why people confuse the spelling of the expression' bear with me' and aren't sure which one to use.

Here are some other examples of homophones:

Other Expressions That Use 'Bear' and 'Bare'

'Bear with me' isn't the only expression that uses the word 'bear.' Below we'll list other expressions that use the words 'bear' or 'bare.'

Bear in mind

To 'bear in mind' means considering something when deciding or taking action.

We can go to the party, but bear in mind we have an early start the next day.

Bear fruit

Trees and plants might bear fruit. Or, metaphorically, a project could bear fruit. 

  • Some apple trees can take up to 8 years to bear fruit.
  • I'm sure our plan will bear fruit if we work hard enough at it. 

Bear witness

To describe an event that you saw or heard. 

I saw everything! If they don't believe you, I can bear witness to the entire event.

Bare all

If you bear all, you reveal everything. 

  • I've been pretty private about my life thus far, but now I'm ready to bare all.
  • He was prepared to bare all for the magazine shoot.

Bare one's teeth

To display angry or defensive behavior.

  • That dog is baring its teeth, and it's making me uncomfortable.
  • He is not an easy person to get close to; he bares his teeth at anyone who tries.

Bare minimum

The bare minimum is the least or smallest amount possible. 

Johnny isn't keeping up at school - he is doing the bare minimum. 

Let's Dive a Little Deeper

Would you like to know why people get confused when trying to spell the expression' bear with me' and aren't sure whether to spell it 'bear' or 'bare'? And would you like some tips on how to remember the correct spelling? If so, read on. 

Why There's Confusion 

One big reason why many are confused about the proper spelling of the word 'bear' in 'bear in mind' is because people usually relate the word 'bear' to the noun that means wild animal. With this meaning, the saying' bear with me' wouldn't make much sense! This is why people tend to spell it the other way. 

Now that you know the other meaning - the verb - it should make more sense that you can still spell the word 'bear' without it meaning there is a wild animal with you.

Why it Can't Be 'Bare With Me'

The word 'bare' means without clothing. Therefore, spelling the word this way in the expression would have somewhat explicit implications, and you should be very careful to whom you say that! 

How to Remember the Difference

A fun way to remember the correct spelling of the word when using the expression' bear with me' is to imagine a bear patiently waiting by your side. This, of course, is quite unrealistic, which only adds to the humor of the situation.

Hopefully, this will help you remember the correct spelling.

To Conclude on 'Bear With Me' or 'Bare With Me'

You should now feel more confident about the spelling of the expression' bear with me', how to use it, and the reason for the confusion around it.

To summarize, the expression is used when you ask someone to be patient, and the correct way to spell it is 'bear with me.' You should never spell it 'bare with me.' 

We encourage you to share this article on Twitter and Facebook. Just click those two links - you'll see why.

It's important to share the news to spread the truth. Most people won't.

Written By:
Carly Forsaith
Carly Forsaith is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. Carly is a copywriter who has been writing about the English language for over 3 years. Before that, she was a teacher in Thailand, helping people learn English as a second language. She is a total grammar nerd and spends her time spotting language errors on signs and on the internet.

Add new comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WritingTips.org Newsletter
Receive information on
new articles posted, important topics, and tips.
Join Now
We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.