‘I’ll bare that in mind’. Or will I? Is it bare or bear?

There are some words which get even the most competent writers in a twist. I always struggle to spell the town Grimsby (luckily it’s not a word I have to type often). And I have to really think about the homonyms bear and bare. Is it ‘bare that in mind’ or ‘bear that in mind’?

So this post is for me as much as it is for you.

Bare means lacking a natural, usual or appropriate covering i.e. butt naked. It also means exposed, unfinished, empty, lacking, having nothing left or added, or not being disguised or embellished in any way. And it means reveal or uncover.

So anything to do with nakedness, uncovering or revealing is bare:

  • She was completely bare faced
  • Bare as the day he was born
  • With my bare hands
  • He bared his teeth
  • Riding barebacked
  • Bare one’s soul
  • The house was stripped back to its bare bones
  • The top revealed a bare midriff

Whereas bear (as well as those big furry things) means to carry or transport, to show a feeling, to have a name, to give birth, to produce fruit or flowers, to support weight, to go in a certain direction, to show patience and to aim a gun.

  • Can you bear with me a moment?
  • At the next turning bear right
  • To bear the cost
  • He’ll bear the scars for years
  • Will it bear the weight?
  • She’ll bear the brunt of that
  • Bear down
  • I think it will bear fruit every year
  • They’ve been ordered to bear arms
  • I’ll bear that in mind

So if it’s not anything to do with nakedness, uncovering or revealing – it’s bear.

For more tips on grammar and punctuation download the ebook.

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  • Racing Hippo
    Posted at 12:42h, 08 December Reply

    Hippo’s Handy Hint for remembering this one:

    Bears are a bore.

    Thus, “I bore it in mind” -> “I’ll bear it in mind”.

    Of course, it only works if you remember which spelling applies to the big furry-growly things…

  • Nick Parkhouse
    Posted at 12:44h, 08 December Reply

    The great stand-up comic, Reginald D Hunter, does a sketch where he admits that he can’t avoid holding his hands up in a bear-like fashion and making a growling noise every time anyone uses the word ‘bear’. I believe it began at a hotel reception when the staff told him to ‘bear with us’.


    I then told this tale to my six year old daughter, and she now does the action and growls every time I say ‘bear’ or ‘bare’.

    That’s a long and, reading it back, quote dull tale. Sorry…

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    Posted at 13:07h, 08 December Reply

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  • Iain Mackenzie
    Posted at 18:20h, 08 December Reply

    So; is a bear ever bare?

    Useful article thank you; I get the feeling it will be a more reliable rule than “i before e excepet… etc etc ” Cant bare that one…. harrrr

  • Keith Grover
    Posted at 10:59h, 09 December Reply

    Some bare facts (which are also bear facts)…

    It was Rupert’s 90th birthday in November this year – that’s Rupert BEAR of red jumper fame. ‘Rupert Bare’, as we all know, is the star of a dodgy Russian porn movie – a different kind of Red Jumper altogether (and indeed, in the altogether).

    The guy responsible for most of the RB strips (cartoon variety) drew them in Surbiton – http://bit.ly/gqGxcG

    One of these bear facts is completely untrue (clue: it’s the bare one).

    Hope that helps… :0)

    • Sarah Turner
      Posted at 11:11h, 09 December Reply

      Thanks Keith. I love Ruper Bear. Not sure about the other one. Although I did meet some strange people when I worked in Moscow!

  • Neil Wheatley
    Posted at 12:51h, 29 December Reply

    I’ll bear this in mind, thanks.

  • Dominic Scaife
    Posted at 07:06h, 28 January Reply

    Thanks for this. I have the same problem.

    I think it must be our childhood teddy bears which throw our brains back and so we think that ‘bear’ can’t possibly be the right word.

    But ‘bear’ it is.

    I’m curious… how do you mispell ‘Grimsby’?

    • Sarah Turner
      Posted at 09:01h, 28 January Reply

      Without fail I always type Gribsmy. Luckily, it’s not a word I often have to type!

  • Dan Gleeballs
    Posted at 15:37h, 06 December Reply

    I always check and always need to check this 🙁
    Surely if you’d been to Grimsby, you’d know you can’t take the Grim out of Grimsby. A bit like Scunthorpe. That’s Grim too.

    That said all I have to remember is to bear a bare behr in mind. Dani Behr will do.

  • clqgsieo
    Posted at 13:51h, 24 January Reply

    ‘I’ll bare that in mind’. Or will I? Is it bare or bear? | Turner Ink Copywriting London UK
    clqgsieo http://www.g2t8f9csd9vm485ic5p3c5764aqw561bs.org/

  • Paula Gale
    Posted at 15:42h, 24 October Reply

    Thanks for this – just found it on a google search because its something I struggle with. I’m happy with the bare part of it – it’s when you come to saying for example ‘I couldn’t bear it if that happened” – that’s when i’ve struggled, so thanks for clearing this up for me… I suppose I could have looked in a dictionary, but you put it so much better (plus i’m always on the PC so google was easier!!!),.


  • Rose Davies
    Posted at 08:50h, 25 January Reply

    So, is ‘I can’t bear children’ correct for the barren woman to say, or for the misopedist:(A hater of children which may include one’s own child or children.)?

  • Nirvana
    Posted at 17:52h, 01 April Reply

    This was really helpful. The ‘bearing in mind’ part keeps getting me when I’m writing.
    Thank you for sharing this with us.


  • Misty
    Posted at 15:46h, 17 January Reply

    TurnerInk……Your Rock…..!!!!

    The English Language is just the Best !!!! Intrigues me more each day.. just when you think you have a grip on it …BOOM .!!!..it “Bites you in the Butt”..

  • Jenni
    Posted at 10:39h, 03 April Reply

    With a NZ accent I get a weird look if I ask anyone if they’d like a beer. Another kiwi will know what you mean, but anyone else will wonder why they’d like a furry thing with teeth….

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