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Similar Sounding Commonly Confused Words: Bare and Bear

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The words bare and bear sound similar when spoken, but are different words.

The word bare can be used both as an adjective and as a verb.

Bare as an adjective has multiple meanings:
(a) naked; uncovered.
Antonym: covered
(b) vacant; clear; unoccupied; plain; scant; meager.
Antonym: full

Bare as a verb means: expose; display; show; disclose; reveal


The word bear refers to a large animal.

As a verb bear means: put up with; tolerate; allow; endure; support; uphold.

Sample Usage

Examples of bare as an adjective:
(a)1. Film heroes are increasingly taking off their shirts to bare their torsos.
2. Smriti’s mother told her to wear a cap when going out and not to expose her bare head to the hot sun.
3. The Govt. imposed a ban on baring the body in the public gardens.

(b) 1. When Sidharth reached out for the cookie jar, he realized it was bare.
2. The bare lot behind the building was an ideal place to set up a much-needed playground for children.
3. When the police broke down the door, they realized it was bare and that the thieves had already escaped from the back door.

Examples of bare as a verb:
1. The watch dog always made it a point to bare its teeth at visitors.
2. The businessman was honest and ready to bare all his assets & expenses to the tax officials.
3. The newspaper’s motto was to bare the truth of the financial scam despite veiled threats from the corrupt politician.


Examples of bear:
With reference to the animal:
1. The bear was friendly and did not seem threatening to the campers.
2. Bears are often treated cruelly by circus owners.

With reference to usage as a verb:
1. One must not be willing to bear ragging in any form.
2. One should always be willing to bear the brunt of a scolding if a mistake is made rather than blaming somebody else.

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