Verb Mistakes #11: Fare

By Maeve Maddox

The verb fare derives from the Old English verb faran, “to travel.” In OE it could also mean “to undergo” or “to suffer.”

In modern usage, the verb fare is used to mean something like “to get along.” Here are examples of correct usage:

[Sanders] offered a stunning chart that showed just how poorly most Americans have fared during economic recoveries since the advent of Reaganomics.

NBA Then and Now: How Today’s Superstars Would Have Fared Across Eras

Scottish independence: How would the UK fare without Scotland?

The most common error with the verb fare is to spell it fair. Here are examples, with corrections:

INCORRECT: New poll found what words many voters associate with Donald Trump on the same day Mitt Romney revealed how he thinks Trump will fair in the 2016 race.—MSNBC.
CORRECT : New poll found what words many voters associate with Donald Trump on the same day Mitt Romney revealed how he thinks Trump will fare in the 2016 race.

INCORRECT: Genomic Study Reveals Pre-Cambrian Explosion of Bird Species, Who Faired Better than Gentle Dinosaurs—The Science Times.
CORRECT : Genomic Study Reveals Pre-Cambrian Explosion of Bird Species, Who Fared Better than Gentle Dinosaurs

INCORRECT: The PCQ did not run a candidate here in 2012 therefore it’s difficult to predict how they will fair.—The Prince Arthur Herald (Canada).
CORRECT : The PCQ did not run a candidate here in 2012 therefore it’s difficult to predict how they will fare.

INCORRECT: [Wheeler] accepted the move but faired worse than he did the previous year.—Miami Herald.
CORRECT : [Wheeler] accepted the move but fared worse than he did the previous year.

INCORRECT: The regional pattern to this rainfall means that some areas such as North West England faired worse in this year’s guide.—BBC News.
CORRECT : The regional pattern to this rainfall means that some areas such as North West England fared worse in this year’s guide.

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