What is the Difference Between "Fair" and "Fare"?

ESL learners, at times, confuse 'fair' with 'fare' especially in the context of performance in examination or competition. Carefully observe from the following sentences how fare is commonly used as a verb while fair is frequently used as an adjective. 

Fare as a Verb

  • If you do all I bid you, you shall fare well. (= succeed)
  • 'I'm tired already,' he grumbled; but some spell made him rise and fare farther. (= keep going or trying)
  • Many students fare poorly in an international evaluation test. (= performed below average)
  • Our team riders fare well in a test against the clock. 

Fair as an Adjective

  • But dark or fair, she is my own little girl, and her mother's pet. (=light in color) 
  • What is fair to one may not at all be fair to another. (=just)
  • I had sprung for the poker, and it was a fair fight between us.
Both fare and fair can function as a noun, however, note that the meanings they convey are completely different. 

Fare as a Noun: 

  • The woman was paying the fare as she was stepping into a cab. (= money paid for transport)
  • Have your fare ready, and the instant that your cab stops, dash through the Arcade.

Fair as a Noun:

  • Don't miss the International Health Fair in the Spring! (= an event)
  •  September 15 is the deadline of registration for the Career Fair
Designed by Neil Yamit