Learning languages can be a really exciting way to learn about a different culture, its country, and its people. However, language can also pose several challenges due to the fact that languages often do not follow their own rules. Anyone who has ever studied a second or even third language can attest to the fact that grammatical rules can be the most difficult part to learn. From complicated verb tenses to noun declensions that cover both singular, plural, gender, and case, to the lists of pronouns that older languages like Latin supply…in short, grammar is difficult.
English is widely considered to be one of the most difficult languages to learn just based on the fact that it tends to struggle with following most of its own rules. Part of the reason for this is that English borrows (or just completely steals) most of its grammar from other languages. English is an etymological mashup of several different languages which causes several common grammar mistakes.
In this article, let’s explore the verb “to bear”, learn its proper use, how to use its past tense, look for its synonyms, and learn its etymology and context.
Your writing, at its best
Compose bold, clear, mistake-free writing with Grammarly's AI-powered writing assistant
To first understand a word, its history, and how to use it properly, it is important to first define what it actually means. According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, the word bear can be defined as, “to accept or allow oneself to be subjected to especially without giving way”, or “to support the weight of”. Some secondary definitions include, “to move while holding up and supporting something”, “to be equipped or furnished with something”, or “to have as an identification, e.g. they bear the title of lord and lady”. In total, there are thirty one definitions of the word “to bear” in both the transitive and intransitive forms as a verb.
Part of what makes English such a difficult language to master is that no matter where you look, there are rules, and then there are exceptions to those rules. For example, the common rule for making the past tense in English is to add “-d” or “-ed” to a verb to give it the past tense. For example, the verb cook becomes cooked, and the verb bake becomes baked. In both situations, you either add the “-ed” or the “-d” suffix and the word is past tense.
To form the past tense of bear, you can do so in two ways. You can either add the suffix “-ed”, to create the word beared, or you can completely change the spelling in the irregular form to create the word “bore”. Technically both are considered correct, although different forms depend on context and your audience. We will discuss context later on in this article.
Will be bear or will be borne?
When asking whether or not something is a real word, what you are really asking is whether or not people use it often enough for it to be considered correct. The reason for this distinction is that language is directed by culture, not the other way around. The words people use in common conversation eventually become correct even if they are not considered correct by a dictionary. For example, the word selfie was added to several dictionaries a few years ago due to its prevalence in context and in culture.
The dictionary cannot be the definitive authority on all of language, so learn your audience and how they communicate, and you will be just fine.
In this context, “will be borne” is the correct grammatical form of the future participle. The participle is a part of speech that conveys an action that has been or will be completed, and as such, there is a different form of the actual spelling of the word.
What is the past tense of Borne?
Borne is actually already the past participle, and to say that something has been borne is to convey that that action has been completed. Therefore, the word is already modified to include the past tense, and so it does not need an additional past tense.
The History and Origin of the Word
One of the best ways to understand a word is to learn where it came from. A word’s etymology can reveal a lot about the changes a word has gone through to get to where it is today in modern English. According to EtymOnline.com, the word “to bear” actually comes from the Old English word “beran”, which means to carry, bring forth. That word in turn was derived from the Proto-Germanic word ”beranan”; it was first used in English during the early to mid medieval time periods.
Unlike many nouns in Modern English which are derived mostly from ancient Latin and Greek, many verbs with irregular forms actually come from these more Western European languages.
Examples of the Word in Context
Another great way to learn how to use a word is to explore the word being used correctly. Either reading the word in its proper context or hearing someone else use it in conversation. Here are some common examples of the word “bear” in context:
“He bears a really heavy burden at the company, managing as many accounts as he does.”
“They have borne that tragedy for several years; it is very difficult to overcome a death like that.”
Synonyms for Bear
Finally, to really solidify a word into your vocabulary, it is useful to explore words with similar or same definitions. The more words you know that can fit into a specific context, the easier it will be to remember which ones to use. Here are some synonyms for the verb to bear:
To carry is a general term that covers the concept of bearing a load
To deliver is a term that describes carrying a load to completion and delivering it
Kevin Miller is a growth marketer with an extensive background in Search Engine Optimization, paid acquisition and email marketing. He is also an online editor and writer based out of Los Angeles, CA. He studied at Georgetown University, worked at Google and became infatuated with English Grammar and for years has been diving into the language, demystifying the do's and don'ts for all who share the same passion! He can be found online here.