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Blog SPaG Monsters' Grammar Guide - Bear vs Bare

SPaG Monsters' Grammar Guide - Bear vs Bare

By Jenni Harrison | Activities, Parents, SPaG Monsters, Top Tips

SPaG Monsters' Grammar Guide - Bear vs Bare

We tackle the tricky task of bear vs bare in this next instalment of the SPaG Monsters' grammar guide!

Here we are back with another tip to help you and your children with those pesky grammar rules that can be so easy to trip up on!

One of the hardest parts of the English language for children learning to read and spell, is that there are so many homophones! These are words that sound the same but are spelt differently.

Below are some tips on remembering the differences between just one set of homophones: bear and bare, but to help your children learn and practise identifying loads of other homophones, get them onto SPaG Monsters, where they can throw snowballs to earn coins in the Snowman Homophones game!

Bear vs Bare

Now we all know the grizzly kind of bear! This type of bear is the noun, and it’s pretty straightforward.

But it's the verb (doing/action words) forms of bear and bare that cause the confusion.

  • Bear = carry - he bears a tray of food
  • Bear = support - the walls could not bear the weight
  • Bear = endure - she couldn't bear the pain

They're all kind of similar, right? So they have the same spelling.

There are also a boat-load (or perhaps a forest-load) of phrases that don't particularly fall under those definitions, but still use bear:

Bear with, bear down, doesn't bear thinking about, bear witness to ...the list goes on.

So what about bare? Which of these many meanings uses bare?


There's only one meaning of the verb bare: uncover:

  • He bared his soul.
  • The tiger bared its teeth.

Bare is often also used as the adjective (describing) form, again with a similar meaning – to be uncovered or naked:

  • There was nothing left but the bare bones.
  • He was bare from the waist up.

In conclusion:

Verbs: If you're talking about taking clothes off or unveiling, then go with bare. For every other use of the verb, use bear.

Nouns: It will only ever be a bear! (picture of a bear)

Adjective: There is no bear adjective, so use bare.


If you want your young writers to learn more of these useful skills then check out SPaG Monsters! SPaG Monsters makes learning fun and engaging with online games to earn coins and decorate monsters, your young ones won't even know they're learning. Grab your free trial with no payment details needed here.

Published: Wed 19th Jan 2022

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I love spag monsters
by Amy - 30-01-2024 09:39
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