Is it bear in mind or is it bare in mind?
The correct expression is “to bear (something) in mind”. It simply means that you need to keep something in mind (= remember it). The expression ‘bear in mind’ makes use of the verb “to bear,” which has many meanings, such as “to hold,” “to carry,” “to keep” and is even used as a verb to describe the act of birth.
Bear in mind: Sample Sentences
#Example 1: Please bear in mind that we don’t have that much time for dinner tonight.
#Example 2: I told the guests that they must bear in mind that the hotel restaurant will not be open until tomorrow.
#Example 3: Bear in mind that Ben is only 5 years old.
Synonyms for bear in mind
Instead of using the expression “to bear something in mind”, you could also use one of the following expressions to get your message across:
- Keep in mind that…
- (Please) Remember that…
- (Please) Do not forget that…
- Be aware that…
- Take into account (that)
Keep in mind that children younger than 4 years of age are not allowed on the playground.
Please remember that we will meet at 3 o’clock tomorrow instead of 2 o’clock.
Please do not forget that Conor has trouble remembering things.
After all, you should be aware that not everybody likes to play Curling.
We will take your long and rich experience into account when we make the final decision.
Other expressions that make use of the verb “to bear”
There are other neat expressions that make extensive use of the verb “to bear”:
- Bear witness
- Can’t bare the…
- Bear with me
I can bear witness to the fact that he has put great effort into reading all the interesting articles on Linguaholic.com.
I can’t bear the thought of losing you.
I can’t bear so many trashy TV Series on Netflix.
This article is still under construction, so please bear with me.
Moreover, the verb to bear can also be used as a fancy and formal way to describe the act of birth:
Last year, she bore two children.
Yes, because bore is the past tense of bare. The -ed form of bear is borne.
Variations of “to bear in mind” in more detail
Bear with me
“To bear with someone” simply means “to be patient with the person being referred to.”
If you could just bear with me and my rants for just a few more minutes.
Put simply, a person using the expression “bear with me” is attempting to be polite at the thought of being a nuisance to the message recipient, especially because of taking up some of their time.
Therefore, we can use this expression when we are about to do extensive explanations that might bore the other person or when we ask them to wait.
Bear that in mind
As mentioned, “to bear something in mind” means “to remember” or “to be aware of something.”
“That” in “bear that in mind” is a demonstrative pronoun that refers to a statement or information previously provided in the utterance or written text.
We often hear this verbiage when someone intends to provide some important information for the sake of giving advice or important note.
Hence, doing so may look like attempting a teacherly approach, which may or may not be favorable at all times.
You must respect people, no matter where they are from. Always bear that in mind.
On a positive note, the usage of the phrase may also imply that the messenger is attempting to show some form of concern.
Reversing the source of the expression, “bear that in mind” is generally used for affirmation reasons when it comes from the message recipient, as in the example below.
A: If possible, please don’t drive on the grass next time.
B: Yeah sure. Sorry, I should bear that in mind.
Bearing in mind
Similarly, the phrase “bearing in mind” conveys an attempt to educate or warn another person through the use of language.
In sentence construction, “bearing in mind” is often followed by a that-clause that expresses the information intended to be remembered.
Bearing in mind that humor can become a maladaptive coping strategy when used in the wrong context, it is worth highlighting that aggressive and self-deprecating humor types be moderately practiced by comics.
As you may have noticed the exhaustive example, it means that “bearing in mind” is commonly used in a more formal register as a softer version of “we/you must bear in mind that…”
The absence of a subject softens the blow of an attempt to pontificate or preach, which is crucial in conversations that require the use of formal language.
Bear with us
“Bear with us” can be used in two different ways, with one being more literal than the other.
When we want to convey the message that an animal physically exists in the same location as the speaker or writer, we can use the statement below.
We are in a zoo and we’ve got a huge Grizzly bear with us.
But, if the intention is to otherwise express an attempt to prompt the listener or reader to be extra patient, then we can say it as in the following sentence.
As we are not professional singers or dancers, we would like to ask you to please bear with us in the next five minutes.
I’ll bear that in mind
Having “I” as the particular subject in the expression suggests
that it is a remark intended to be an affirmative response instead of a reminder.
Similar to the explanation in the earlier subsection, using the phrase this way suggests the aim to adhere to whatever information or warning that is given beforehand.
A: Don’t you ever lie to me again.
B: Yes, I know. I’ll bear that in mind.
On the negative side, though, we may not be able to completely know whether the person using the expression is fully sincere or not.
So, we can then use our social acuity in discerning whether the remark otherwise suggests sarcasm.
The incorrect use of “to bear in mind”
In linguistics, “bear” and “bare” are classified as homophonic words. Homophones are phonologically identical yet orthographically distinct.
Put simply, homophones are words having similar pronunciations, but they are spelled differently.
Homophones are probably the most notorious culprits for ambiguous language use, which are also very good sources of humor as in puns.
Having issues with spelling homophonic words is pretty common among native and non-native English language users.
Here are some of the common spelling and grammatical errors that need to be corrected.
Bare me in mind
The expression above may cause very serious comprehension issues simply because the phrase is grammatically correct but semantically off.
The verb “to bare” means “to strip or expose,” therefore, “to bare me in mind” may come across as a double-edged sword.
(You know what I mean, right?)
Please bare in mind
Similarly, writing “bare in mind” as an attempt to induce awareness to the audience is orthographically incorrect.
Although the meaning of this particular phrase is less ambiguous than the previous one, using it incorrectly potentially invites criticisms from others.
Friends may not necessarily see this as an issue, but a manager or a supervisor who does not adhere to spelling conventions may not leave a very good impression on their subordinates.
Obviously, teachers would also be very excited to use their newly-bought red pen to mark your paper every time “bare” appears in your essay instead of “bear”.
“Bear in mind” alternatives
We don’t want to give the impression of being a broken record when writing, so we tend to look for other possible substitutes for expressions.
So, here are some synonymous expressions with “bear in mind” that you can conveniently choose from.
“Keep in mind…”
In case you want to make the expression simpler and more recognizable by most people, you can simply say “keep in mind.”
You can apply “keep in mind” when conveying information to audiences with diverse linguistic backgrounds.
We should all keep in mind that open communication is key to business development.
And, if used accordingly, this phrase has the power to encourage a wider range of audiences, again, because of its user-friendly connotation.
Another more straightforward, maybe even the easiest and safest, verbiage to use is “remember that.”
“Remember that” is non-idiomatic and, therefore, it should cater to a much wider range of audiences than “keep in mind” and “bear in mind.”
Here’s how to use it.
Remember that you will always be the captain of your own ship.
The immediate use of “remember” to begin the sentence means that the sentence is in the imperative mood.
This means that the statement aims to give a command rather than to declare information or express volition.
This phrase is also very much flexible because it can be used in any register without causing any misconception.
“Be cognizant of”
Lastly, we may also use “to be cognizant of” to express similar meaning, however, with the most formal connotation among all the previous examples.
The adjective “cognizant” means conscious or aware, and it also comes either with a psychological or technological connotation.
Parents must be cognizant of not only focusing on the educational needs of their children but also their well-being.
As you may have observed, the use of “cognizant” increases the formality of the phrase that aims to evoke a call to action.
Therefore, this phrase is otherwise inapplicable to early-stage English language learners.
Other tricky word sequences related to “bear in mind”
There are two different ways to use the phrase “bear to”: one is used to refer to the carnivoran animal or the stuffed toy while the other is to refer to the idea of patience or endurance.
When you say “take a bear to school,” for instance, this clause refers to the idea of physically transporting an animal, either the real or stuffed, to an institutional space.
This also means that you are making use of the noun form of the word “bear” rather than the verb.
Here’s how that might look like:
Son, you cannot take your teddy bear to school. You’re already sixteen.
However, when you say “bear to do something,” you are making a reference either to the act of tolerance or endurance.
Here are two examples of using “bear to” to refer to this idea:
Can you bear to let the opportunity pass by?
She cannot bear to disappoint her parents.
“Bearing with someone”
“Bearing with someone” is a participial noun phrase that can either be used in the subject or object part in a sentence.
There is only one way to semantically interpret this phrase, and that is, to refer to the idea of tolerating another person.
Just like “bear with me,” “bearing with someone” also means to endure or tolerate the idea of interacting or dealing with a person.
Here’s how you may use “bearing with someone” in a sentence:
Bearing with someone can be a roller coaster ride. There will always be ups and downs.
“To bear the pain”
Meanwhile, “to bear the pain” is an expression that specifically means “to enduring some form of suffering,” either physically, mentally, or emotionally.
This particular phrase can be used either as a subject or object part of the sentence.
Here’s “to bear the pain” in the subject part of the sentence:
To bear the pain is divine.
And, here’s how to use “to bear the pain” in the object part of the sentence:
He is gradually learning to bear the pain of marriage.
Bonus tip: Never, ever say “bear your soul”
“Bear your soul” is the incorrect way of expressing the idea of revealing one’s emotions and inner thoughts.
If this is the target idea to be conveyed, then the correct expression to use is “bare your soul” instead.
Homophonic words like “bear” and “bare” are naturally tricky to put into writing, hence the instinctual confusion for natives and non-natives alike.
But, given how accessible information already is in the digital age, there is no reason why we cannot double-check which is which in actual scenarios.
So again, “bare your soul” is the right choice and not “bear your soul,” as the latter would be a bit spooky or even distressful.
Frequently Asked Questions on “Bare vs. Bear in Mind”
Is “bear in mind” an idiom?
Idioms are expressions used by speakers of any native language in a very natural way that quintessentially contains figurative meaning. “Bear in mind” could be perceived by a non-native English speaker as an idiomatic expression since it otherwise has a more straightforward equivalent like “remember.” Whereas, a native English speaker may think that it is just a common expression with non-idiomatic meaning.
What is a more formal way to say “bear in mind?”
More formal equivalents of “bear in mind” are “to be cognizant of”, “to heed,” “to consider,” or “to pay attention to,” or “to be aware of” something.
No one is too safe from the atrocities of homonyms, not even the native speakers of the language.
The case discussed in this post, thus, provides more proof that language is indeed an arbitrary, constantly-changing human tool.
Hence, we simply are the creators of our own problems, which is strangely paradoxical.
I can’t bare the thought of completing this article…
…but it seems that everything important has been said. So let’s move on, shall we?
Hey fellow Linguaholics! It’s me, Marcel. I am the proud owner of linguaholic.com. Languages have always been my passion and I have studied Linguistics, Computational Linguistics and Sinology at the University of Zurich. It is my utmost pleasure to share with all of you guys what I know about languages and linguistics in general.