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Allude vs. Elude – How to Pick the Correct Word

Allude vs. Elude – How to Pick the Correct Word

While lazy pronunciation and/or lack of good ear for English vowels can make these words sound similar, elude should be pronounced with a short “E” sound, and allude should be pronounced with a short “U” sound. These verbs have quite different meanings, so reading this […]

Brake vs. Break – How to Pick the Correct Word

Brake vs. Break – How to Pick the Correct Word

Both break and brake are correct spellings, yet the two words have different definitions. Whether you should use break or brake depends on the context in your writing. Short and Sweet: Break vs. Brake Both break and brake can be either a verb or a […]

Bear with me vs. Bare with me – How to Pick the Correct Word

Bear with me vs. Bare with me – How to Pick the Correct Word

You want someone to bear with you, but you’re not sure how to spell it—bare with me or bear with me? Does it matter? It should matter because only one of these spellings is correct in this phrase.

Short and Sweet: Bear with me vs. Bare with me

Bear and bare are different words.

  • Bear is the correct spelling for bear with me. It is used in this phrase in the sense of “enduring” or “bearing a burden.”
  • Bare means “to reveal.” This meaning doesn’t make any sense in the phrase “bare with me.”

This article further explores these definitions and when to use bear or bare, giving more insight to the phrase bear with me. Also included is a tip for how to remember to use the spelling bear instead of bare in this context.

What Does Bear with me Mean?

Meaning of Bear with me: Bear is a verb meaning to endure. This verb has a homonym, the noun bear, which means a large mammal that likes to eat honey. Despite the identical spelling, that definition is unrelated to the verbs bear and bare.

Bear means to carry, support, or yield.

  • People use donkeys and pack horses to bear their luggage. > carry, support
  • A pregnant woman is bearing a child. > carry, yield
  • The farmland can bear > support, yield

Bear can also mean to carry or support emotional weight.

  • This is horrible, I can’t bear to watch.
  • The pain is too much to bear.

This second meaning translates into “enduring something unpleasant.” If I were to ask you to bear with me, I would be asking you to endure my words or actions. In other words, be patient with me, hear me out, or stick with me.

  • This is my first time doing this, so bear with me if I make mistakes. > be patient
  • I know it’s a long story, but bear with me. > be patient, hear me out
  • Thanks for bearing with me all this time, for better or for worse. > stay with me

What Does Bare with me Mean?

Meaning of Bare with me: Bare with me is not a phrase. Bare can be a verb or an adjective, and as either of these parts of speech, bare means something is uncovered, unmasked, unclothed, or revealed.

  • Don’t approach a dog if it bares its teeth. > uncovered, revealed
  • Please listen to me, I’m baring my soul to you! > unmasked, revealed
  • The sun feels good on my bare > uncovered, unclothed
  • I like to walk on the beach with bare > unclothed

If bare with me were a phrase, it would literally mean to uncover something together, but it is not used in that way.

Bare with me vs. Bear with me: How to Remember the Difference

Bare is the more rare spelling. It is used less frequently than bear. Unless you mean “uncover,” don’t use bare—especially not in the phrase bear with me.

Another way to remember is that if I ask you to bear with me, I need your patience because I’m about to be a pain in the rear!

Recap: When to Use Bear with me and Bare with me

So, when should you use bear with me or bare with me?

Always use bear with me. This is the correct way to spell the phrase that means “be patient with me.” Bear is a verb that means “to endure” or “to carry a burden.”

Never use bare with me. Bare is a verb or noun that means “to uncover” or “uncovered.”

Already vs. All Ready – Pick the Correct Word

Already vs. All Ready – Pick the Correct Word

Already or all ready—they’re pretty much same thing, right? Wrong! Unlike other words like altogether, which is always one word, already is its own word and is completely unrelated to all ready. Short and Sweet: Already vs. All Ready Already is an adverb, while all […]

Isle vs. Aisle – How to Pick the Correct Word

Isle vs. Aisle – How to Pick the Correct Word

This article deals with a pair of English homophones, which are words with different spellings and meanings but identical pronunciations. Neither aisle nor isle is spelled as it sounds, since both have a silent “S.” This makes the words a bit confusing in the first […]

Loss vs. Lost – Pick the Correct Word

Loss vs. Lost – Pick the Correct Word

Loss and lost differ by just a single letter, so they sound and look similar to each other. They also have similar meanings because both words derive from the verb “to lose.”

The lose means to fail to keep or maintain. One can lose any number of things such as possessions, a sense of direction, weight, or a loved one.

While this article deals with the difference between loss and lost (both of which relate to the verb lose), be careful not to confuse lose with loose. The latter is an adjective that means the opposite of “tight” and has nothing to do with loss or lost.

Fortunately, for the purposes of this article, the difference between loss and lost is fairly simple: they are different parts of speech.

Differences in Usage: Loss vs. Lost

This post takes a look at the words loss and lost. I will go over each word’s definition and provide examples demonstrating the word’s function within the sentence.

Then, I’ll share a memory trick so that you will know whether to use lost or loss for the future.

What Does Loss Mean?

Meaning of Loss: Loss is a noun, so it is usually preceded by an article, such as “the” or “a.”

A loss is the act or process of losing. It is common in the context of strategy, business, gaming, and elsewhere.

For example,

  • Not planning for this disaster was a strategic loss.
  • Our team suffered a terrible loss
  • Price down that old Valentine’s candy; we’ll have to sell it at a loss.

In the last example, the candy is being sold “at a loss.” If something is sold “at a loss,” it is being sold for less than the cost of producing it.

Loss can be used as a euphemism for death.

  • I took the loss of my mother very hard.

One might also be “at a loss” for words if they don’t know what to say.

What Does Lost Mean?

Meaning of Lost: Lost is the past participle of the verb to lose. As such, it can function as a past tense verb or as an adjective.

Lost as a past tense verb. In this sense, lost is an action, so it is something the subject of the sentence has done. It usually means that something is not in one’s possession, its whereabouts are unknown, or something failed to be won or used.

  • I lost my dog.
  • Have you lost your mind?
  • We lost the game.

Lost as an adjective. In this sense, lost is describing a noun, such as a person or thing that is missing. While the meaning is the same as above, it is a description rather than an action.

  • Hey, that’s my lost dog!
  • We still hope to find the lost city of Atlantis.
  • It was a lost cause anyway.

As you would expect from an adjective, lost appears directly before a noun in all three of the the above examples.

Lost vs. Loss: How to Remember the Difference

Now that you know the difference between lost and loss, all you have to do is remember which word is which.

Lost has a T, like in the words past tense. Lost is the past tense of “to lose,” while loss is a noun.

Recap: When to Use Loss and Lost

Loss and lost are both words that come from the verb “to lose.” Despite this relationship, each word serves a separate grammatical function.

  • Loss is a noun.
  • Lost is a past tense verb or an adjective.
Then vs. Than – Pick the Correct Word

Then vs. Than – Pick the Correct Word

Then and than are among the most commonly misused pairs of words in the English language. While they are technically pronounced differently, many speakers pronounce than like then, which adds to the confusion. Since spelling can be conflated with intelligence, it’s important to always use […]

Peel vs. Peal – Pick the Correct Word

Peel vs. Peal – Pick the Correct Word

While you’re likely quite familiar with one of these words, the other has a more specialized meaning. Can you guess which one is which? Peel and peal are both legitimate words, and they are pronounced the same way. However, their meanings are quite different depending […]

Do vs. Due – Pick the Correct Word

Do vs. Due – Pick the Correct Word

Do sounds the same as due; the two words are a pair of English homophones. As with all homophones, do and due are spelled differently and mean quite different things. Plus, they are different parts of speech.

So how do you know when to use due or do?

Short and Sweet: Do vs. Due

Do is a very common verb, while due is usually an adjective.

  • Do means “to make happen.” It is used in a wide range of contexts.
  • Due means the time at which something is expected, often a debt.

Continue reading for a more in-depth discussion of these words’ meanings and way to remember when to use do or due.

What Does Do Mean?

Meaning of Do: Most simply put, to do is “to make happen.” Some of the many actions that do can describe are to perform, carry out, make, partake of, or behave.

  • After you do your work, you can leave. > perform/carry out
  • I need to do that when I get home. > carry out
  • Don’t do > partake of
  • Let’s do a documentary about haunted houses. > make
  • What do you do? >occupation

This is by no means an exhaustive list of how do can be used. One can do many other tasks such as the laundry or dishes, one’s hair or makeup, or some paperwork or research, to name just a few.

Do is a quite versatile verb. While other languages are often more specific with their verbs, English has several verbs, such as “put,” “get,” and “take,” that are used casually to mean wide variety of actions.

What Does Due Mean?

Meaning of Due: Due is the time at which something is expected to happen. This can be many things, from payment of a debt to the birth of a baby. Due can also mean something is deserved, such as recognition.

  • I don’t have extra money right now because my rent is due this week.
  • My library book is due back on Thursday.
  • What is the due date for this assignment?

These examples demonstrate how things such as rent, a project, and a book are expected to be turned in by a certain date.

Due also describes the expected arrival of people and objects.

For example,

  • My baby’s due date is in April.
  • The train is due any minute now.

Additionally, two common phrases that use the word due are “credit where credit is due” and “all due respect.”

For example,

  • I always include the name of the artist when I repost pictures; it’s important to give credit where credit is due.
  • With all due respect I must disagree.

In these contexts, due means deserved, or appropriate.

As a noun, dues are something that one pays in order to be a part of a group.

  • Before you can move up in this company, you have to pay your dues.
  • The union will kick you out if you don’t pay your dues.

In the first example, this means the time and work one does at first to earn a more desirable position in a group. In the second example, dues are a monetary contribution that members make periodically to a union.

Due vs. Do: How to Remember the Difference

Due is when something should happen or when payment is expected. Due is often paired with date, as in due date. Both of thee words end in an “E.”

Do frequently appears in the phrase to do, as in To Do List. A To Do List is a written set of actions the author needs to carry out, or make happen. To and do are both two-letter words that end in an “O.”

Recap: When to Use Do and Due

Do is a verb that means something is carried out or made to happen. Do is a flexible verb that is used in a variety of contexts.

Due is an expectation: either for a debt to be paid, something or someone to arrive, or respect or recognition to be given.

Dairy vs. Diary – Pick the Correct Word

Dairy vs. Diary – Pick the Correct Word

This pair of words is a dyslexic’s nightmare! Dairy and diary have two totally different meanings and pronunciations, yet they are so similar in spelling. You must pay close attention to determine whether you are using diary or dairy correctly. Short and Sweet: Dairy vs. […]