Commonly Confused Words: Berry vs. Bury 

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What does each word mean?

A berry is a type of small fruit often used in making desserts, jams and jellies, and preserves. Examples of berries include blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries.

Here is berry used in some example sentences:

  • I like berry-flavoured ice cream. 
  • We made a Christmas wreath with holly leaves and berries
  • Would you like some strawberry cake?

If you bury something, it means you hide it from sight by covering it with something else, for example earth.

Here is bury used in some example sentences:

  • To keep warm and cosy. I bury myself under a pile of blankets. 
  • We bury the secret treasure in the garden. 
  • She likes to bury her feet in the sand. 

Where does each word come from? 

comes from the Old English ‘berie ‘, which in turn comes from the Proto-Germanic ‘basjom’. 

Bury comes from the Old English ‘byrgan’ meaning ‘to raise a mound, hide, enclose in a grave or tomb, or inter’, which comes from the Proto-Germanic ‘burzjan-‘ meaning  ‘protection’ or ‘shelter’. The meaning ‘to cover or conceal from sight’ dates to 1711.


Are there any tricks to help remember the difference these words?

  • Berry rhymes with the word merry. Both are spelt with an e and two rs. Perhaps the following sentence will help you connect the two words: ‘The holly berry made the Christmas wreath look merry.’  
  • Remember that berries can be ruby red – the word is spelt with two rs. 
  • To help you remember that berry is spelt with an e, think of berries as something you eat
  • To help you remember that bury is spelt with a u, think of burying something underground.

Learn about y words in Unit 7.

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14 Dec 2023
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