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GrammarFlex » writing-tips » idioms » Is it ‘Bear With Me’ or ‘Bare’ with Me’, Explained

Is it ‘Bear With Me’ or ‘Bare’ with Me’, Explained

Last updated on October 17th, 2023 at 07:26 am

Bare with me’ vs. ‘bear with me’, explained

Also known as the difference between asking someone to be naked with you, or politely asking them to be patient with you while you figure something out. Don’t screw this one up, folks. Keep reading to understand the difference between phrases bear with me or bare with me.

bear with me or bare with me

First thing’s first: let’s figure out which parts of speech these words belong to.

The correct usage of bare with me vs. bear with me.

Bare is an adjective and a describing word that means, “not covered by any clothes”. That’s correct—bare means naked. At this point, we can make an educated guess that bare is not the proper word in the context (which it isn’t).

Let’s keep going. Depending on how the adjective bare is used, its meaning might change. For example, you may have heard the phrase ‘bare necessities‘. Used in this phrase, bare means something similar to basic or essential.

Bare can also describe a space or place as empty, e.g., ‘the fridge was completely bare‘, or ‘the shelves were bare’ (meaning there was nothing on the shelves).

Sentences with bare

She likes to walk around in bare feet.

The windows looked out onto a bare field.

The walls were bare except for a clock.

Bear can appear as a noun or a verb. Of course, as a noun I’m referring to the wild Grizzly bear (it would be wrong to use the word bear so many times and not pay respect to this majestic creature).

Bear also functions as a verb, and that’s how it’s being used in the phrase, ‘bear with me’. To bear with someone or something means “to be able to accept and deal with something unpleasant”. Its meaning is similar to endure or tolerate, and this is the precise sense in which it’s being used in the phrase bear with me.

Sentences with bear

The pain was almost more than he could bear.

She couldn’t bear the thought of losing him.

We could hardly bear to be outdoors in the blinding sunlight.

A tip to remember ‘bare with’ vs. ‘bear with’

To bear with is spelled the same as the noun, the Grizzly bear. Just imagine how difficult it would be to have to bear the weight of an actual bear? If you can’t remember which spelling is correct, just remember it’s spelled the same as the animal, the Brown or Grizzly or Polar bear.

Phrases with bear

  • bear arms (to carry a gun or firearm)
  • bear a resemblance (to look similar to someone)
  • as busy as a hibernating bear (meaning not busy at all)

Phrases with bare

  • bare bones (meaning only the essentials or minimum)
  • bare necessities (having only what is needed or necessary; just enough or sufficient)
  • bare naked (fully or completely naked)
  • bare minimum (to do the smallest or least amount possible)
  • to bare one’s breasts (to leave yourself open or vulnerable to something/someone)
  • to bare one’s teeth (to display anger or a threatening reaction to something/someone)


  1. Bare, Oxford Learner’s Dictionary, accessed on Oct 4, 2023.
  2. Bear, Oxford Learner’s Dictionary, accessed on Oct 4, 2023.
  3. Idioms with bear, The Free Dictionary,
  4. Idioms with bare, The Free Dictionary