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Commonly Confused Words: Bath vs. Bathe


What does each word mean?

Bath is a noun used to describe the process of washing by immersing oneself in hot water, as well as the vessel used to contain the water. In British English the word may also be used to refer to a building that contains public swimming or spa facilities, while in American English the word is sometimes used as a shorthand for a bathroom. 

In British English, the word is also used as a verb to describe the act of washing oneself or someone else by immersion in a tub of water. 

Click here for the full Spellzone dictionary definition of the word.

Here is bath used in some example sentences:

  • He preferred baths to showers. 
  • The bath was covered in soap scum. 
  • Have you ever visited the Roman baths?
  • The house has two beds and one bath.
  • His father showed him how to bath the baby. 

Here are all the Spellzone study lists related to the word bath.

Bathe is used as a verb in both British and American English to describe the act of washing by immersion in a tub of water. The word might also refer to soaking or wiping something to clean or soothe it and, metaphorically, to describe being enveloped or immersed by something. 

In British English, the word is used as a noun to describe swimming or spending time in water (particularly outside). 

Click here for the full Spellzone dictionary definition of the word.

Here is bathe used in some example sentences:

  • He preferred to bathe in the evenings. 
  • She bathed the wound on her knee with salt water. 
  • She relaxed on her lounger, bathed in sunshine. 
  • We took a long bathe in the ocean. 

Here are all the Spellzone study lists related to the word bathe.

Are there any tricks to help remember the difference between bath and bathe?

  • While different writers may have different stylistic preferences, when unsure use bath as a noun and  bathe as verb. 
  • Think of the term sunbathe to help you remember bathe is a verb. 
  • Think of the term bathroom to help you remember bath is a noun.

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22 Jul 2019
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