Bath & Bathe. Let’s fix some common mistakes

How do we use the English verbs bath and bathe? And how do we use the word bath if it’s a noun? Find out in this video and watch my jokes drive Jay crazy.

I’m going to take a bath.
Really? Where are you going to take it?

This is our bath. Jay and I pronounce the word ‘bath’ a little differently.

Bath. Bath. Bath. Bath.

It’s also called a bathtub or tub, especially in American English. Bath is a noun, a thing. It’s not a verb, so we don’t bath ourselves. In the past the word ‘bath’ was a verb too, but not so much now. If we want to talk about the action of washing ourselves, we say ‘have a bath’ or ‘take a bath’. Have a bath is British English and take a bath is American.

Are you going to take a bath?
No, I’m going to leave it where it is.
That’s a terrible joke.

If we’re going to wash someone else in a bath, we might say we’ll bath or bathe them, but it sounds old fashioned. We generally say ‘give’. We give babies a bath. This is how we give our dog Carter a bath. We don’t use the tub. We give him a bath on the deck.
And there’s one more verb you might hear – to run a bath. It means to fill it with water.

I’m running a bath.

Now here’s where it gets tricky. There’s another word – bathe – and it’s a verb. It means swim somewhere, like in the sea or in a river. And sunbathe. When people sunbathe they lie in the sun. Notice the different pronunciation. Bath. Bathe. Bathe is pronounced with a long ‘a’ sound and it’s an old fashioned word again. It sounds very formal and we don’t use it much these days. We normally say swim, have a swim or go swimming. We go sunbathing too.
So here’s the key thing to remember. A bath is a thing. When we talk about the action of washing ourselves, we use other verbs like have a bath or take a bath.

I’ve got a joke for you.
What is it, Vicki?
What dog likes to take bubble baths.
Hmm, a bubble dog?
Ooo, good guess. No it’s a shampoodle.
A shampoodle. Ha! Ha! Good one Vicki.
He likes my jokes.
I know, right

Can you guess what this idiom means? Here’s an example.

Is that the new poster design?
Yeah, what do you think?
I like it. It needs a little work.
I hate it.
What? Stop! Keep it! There are some good ideas here.
I’ll start again.
No, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

We use this expression when something is not perfect and someone wants throw everything out and start again. But there could be good and useful things that they should keep. We don’t want old dirty bath water but we do want to keep the baby.

I’ll start again.
No don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. You can build on this.

So Special Agent Awesome. Tell me. Why should people subscribe to Simple English Videos?
Well, Simple English Videos teaches people how to learn English in the right way. Like, there’s episodes like ‘Lie or Lay?’, ‘Meeting and Greeting with a Visitor’.
Wow, you know the channel really well. Did you learn English there?
Yeah.
If you had a friend who wanted to learn English, what channel on YouTube would you send them to?
Simple English Videos.
Oh good!
Simple English videos is the best channel to learn English. Subscribe now!

2 thoughts on “Bath & Bathe. Let’s fix some common mistakes

  • December 9, 2016 at 7:06 pm
    Permalink

    I always said “take a body wash”.Now I going to say “take a bath”

    Reply
    • December 13, 2016 at 5:37 pm
      Permalink

      Great Carlo!

      Reply

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