Bath vs. Bathe

Bath

Forms: bath / bathed / bathing

In British English, the verb bath is used to mean wash oneself.

Bath can also mean bathtub.

The verb bath is rather formal. It is normally used in the structure have a bath or take a bath. Note that the phrase take a bath is common in both British and American English. The phrase have a bath is usually only used in British English.

  • The telephone rang while I was taking a bath. (GB / US)
  • The telephone rang while I was having a bath. (GB)

Bath can also be used with an object.

  • Can you bath the baby?

In American English, the verb bathe is used in this case.

  • Do you know how to bathe an infant?

Bathe

Forms: bathe / bathed / bathing

In British English, bathe means swim for pleasure. In a less formal style, we use other expressions like have a swim or go for a swim.

  • We bathed in the sea. (= We went for a swim in the sea.)

In American English, bathe can mean take a bath.

  • People should bathe regularly. (= People should take a bath regularly.)

Note that to lie in the sun is to sunbathe, not sunbath.

Grammar exercise | bath and bathe

Complete the following sentences using bath or bathe.

1. You need a ————— tonight. (bath / bathe)

2. You have got enough time to take a —————- (bath / bathe)

3. I was taking a ————– when the phone rang. (bath / bathe)

4. You must —————– before going to bed. (bath / bathe)

5. Your eyes are red. Why don’t you —————- them? (bath / bathe)

Answers

1. You need a bath tonight.

2. You have got enough time to take a bath.

3. I was taking a bath when the phone rang.

4. You must bathe before going to bed.

5. Your eyes are red. Why don’t you bathe them?

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Manjusha Nambiar

I am the founder and editor of http://www.perfectyourenglish.com, http://www.ielts-practice.org, and http://ncertguides.com

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