April 29, 2015

Bear and Bare : Grammar & Editing Tips

A few weeks ago, I posted about Homophones and Contractions. Homophones are words that sound alike (can be spelled alike or not) but have different meanings. 

As an editor, I fix tons of homophones in manuscripts. From time to time, I thought I'd feature some commonly misused homophones. 

Today, I'll discuss bear and bare. At first glance, these might seem easy.


An animal. Easy. Right?

Well, as a noun, yes.

Verb variations (past tense = bore, past participle = borne):

1. To hold up, support (bear weight)
2. To give birth (bear a child)
3. To produce by natural growth (bear fruit)
4. To hold up under / be capable of (bear close examination)

Also bear down on something and bear in mind.


Some good adjectives for this one.

1. Without covering or clothing / naked
2. Without the usual coverings or contents (bare walls)
3. Open to view / unconcealed (bare dislike)
4. Unadorned (bare facts)
5. Just sufficient (bare necessities of life)

Verb (past tense: bared)

1. To reveal / uncover / expose (bare all in an interview, bare one's teeth)

Is there an editing/grammar issue that's always caused you trouble? If so, share it in the comments so I can feature it in a future post. 

Definitions from Dictionary.com

1 comment:

Jo Michaels said...

YES! Bear with me. Gah! LOL