bare/bear

Discussion in 'English Only' started by gec, May 9, 2007.

  1. gec New Member

    South Africa: Afrikaans & English
    I understand the difference between bear and bare in meaning. But recently I find myself getting confused when I am using other forms of, what I think should be, bear.

    "This, a much less focused and less cognitive activity, also seems to have beared/bared fruit in that his listening comprehension is quite high." (from my assignment)

    I checked and I see that bare (aside from its other uses) is an archaic form of bear, but then when I used "beared" the Word spellchecker throws it up as an error. And a general web search shows that both are used... so could someone help me sort out my new-found confusion please? :)
     
  2. Joelline

    Joelline Senior Member

    USA (W. Pennsylvania)
    American English
    Hello, and welcome to the English-Only forum.

    The problem here is that the past participle of "to bear" is irregular: "born": "This, a much less focused and less cognitive activity, also seems to have born fruit in that his listening comprehension is quite high."

    Sometimes, but almost never in AE, you will see the past participle spelled "borne."
     
  3. gec New Member

    South Africa: Afrikaans & English
    oooooooooooooooh. Ok, I get it, thanks.
     
  4. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    The correct form is "to have borne fruit", from "to bear". "Bare" is an old way to say "bore" (past tense of "bear").

    There is also another verb "to bare" from the adjective "bare" (naked, plain). It is completely regular (bare - bared - bared).

    In the phrase "to be born", this "born" does not have the final "e" because it has a special meaning.

    If there is a verb "bear" from the name of the animal, then its past tense will be "beared".
     
  5. Blumengarten Senior Member

    Pennsylvania
    America / English
    Joelline is right. Although the dictionary says it is archaic, "bear fruit" is a rather common phrase. In the simple past, we would say that a project "bore fruit."
     
  6. Joelline

    Joelline Senior Member

    USA (W. Pennsylvania)
    American English
    Actually, forero, I checked three online dictionaries about the past participle, and 2 gave born/borne and the third gave only "born" for AE.
     
  7. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    "To have borne fruit" is the way I have always seen it in American books, newspapers, magazines, and hardbound dictionaries.

    "Born", according to my dictionaries, refers only to the fact of birth, and can only be used passively and that only when not followed by "by".

    Example from my 1978 American Heritage Dictionary:

    "Three children were borne by her, one of whom was born deaf."
     

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