`forbear’ and `forebear’

`Forebear’ is a noun, and `forbear’ is a verb. It is also possible to spell the noun, `forbear’. When used as a noun, the word means `ancestor’; the stress, in this case, is on the first syllable. The word is considered literary.

Example: Thiru has every intention of returning to the land of his forebears.

When used as a verb, `forbear’ means `refrain from’. In this case, the stress is on the second syllable, `bear’. The past tense of `forbear’ is `forbore’.

Example: The witness turned hostile and forbore to answer many of the questions.

Source: ‘Know Your English’ ( The Hindu) – March 05, 2007.


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