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Commonly Confused Words: Forebear/Forbears

Would I need to forbear or forebear from receiving some future benefit to have a bargained-for exchange?

Forbear (verb):

  • Forbear is a verb that means “to refrain or abstain from doing something”: “My father said that he would pay for my college if I agreed to forbear from partying.”

Forebear (noun):

  • Forebear is a noun that refers to an ancestor or person from whom one descended: “Our forebears would be rolling in their graves if they heard this egregious decision.”
Rule—Forebear or Forbear: Use forbear unless you’re referring to someone’s ancestors.
  • Mnemonic: Our forebears emigrated for better employment opportunities