Is It Bare Your Soul Or Bear Your Soul?

Bare Your Soul or Bear Your Soul

Is it bare your soul or bear your soul?

The correct expression is bare your soul. Bear your soul is incorrect.

There are many fixed expressions that use either bare or bear, so it’s easy to make a mistake.

But if you understand the meaning of each word, it will make things easier.

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Bare vs. Bear

Yes, a bear is a big furry animal that likes to eat honey.

It can also be a teddy bear, which is a cuddly stuffed toy named after United States President Theodore Roosevelt. But that’s another story altogether.

The confusion between the use of bear and bare is because the two words are homonyms.

They sound the same, so we have no problem speaking and using fixed expressions with them.

But when you write, you have to make the right word choice.

 

What does bare mean?

Bare can be a verb and an adjective.

As a verb, to bare means to uncover something and expose it to view.

It could refer to a part of the body or an object in both a real or unreal sense.

Here are some examples to make it easy to understand.

The dog snarled and bared its teeth.

It’s not like her to bare her heart to a stranger.

The politician decided to bare the facts about the scandal to the press.

After all the years, he decided to bare his secret to his family.

 

As an adjective, bare can mean not clothed or covered, without the appropriate or usual contents, minimal, devoid of, or without.

He tore it apart with his bare hands.

All we need are the bare essentials.

She jotted down the bare bones of the story.

The cupboard was bare, so how was she to feed her kids?

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What does bear mean?

The noun bear is always a big furry animal.

But as a verb, bear means to support, take responsibility for, endure, tolerate, or produce.

He will have to bear the burden of his mistakes.

It took a year, but her plan is about to bear fruit.

I can’t bear the sight of him anymore.

Bear with me for a moment, and I’ll see if she’s available.

Since she moved, she learned to bear the heat and humidity.

Bear in mind that you will have to pay interest.

From these examples, you can see now how to choose correctly between bare your soul or bear your soul.

To bare your soul is a metaphorical expression that means you expose your innermost feelings or secrets.

 

Always check homonyms in writing

Bare and bear are a good example of confusing words because they sound exactly the same.

There are many others including past and passed, affect and effect and accept and except. You need to take extra care with these when you write.

Sometimes a good grammar checker can help you make the right choice.

But you can’t trust them completely, and it’s especially true with bear and bare.

It always pays to check your correct word use with a good dictionary, either a real one or online.

But bear in mind that it goes doubly so when you are using fixed expressions.

Derek Haines

A Cambridge CELTA English teacher and author with a passion for writing and all forms of publishing. My days are spent teaching English and writing, as well as testing and taming new technology.

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3 thoughts on “Is It Bare Your Soul Or Bear Your Soul?

  • Avatar for Michael
    April 1, 2021 at 10:52 pm
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    Thank you for another very good explaination, Derek! Have a beautiful weekend, and if you celebrate Happy Easter! Best wishes, Michael

    Reply
  • Avatar for Lindsey Russell
    April 1, 2021 at 3:02 pm
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    And then there’s soul/sole.
    The unaware could end up with – bear your sole – eek.

    Reply
    • Avatar for Derek Haines
      April 1, 2021 at 3:07 pm
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      Ouch! A big grizzly animal and a very flat round fish. That’s a new twist on the old expression, Lindsey.

      Reply

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