Raise Vs. Rise
Many of my private English students are confused by the words RAISE and RISE. Words that have a similar sound or meaning, but are used with different grammar. I often confuse similar words in Japanese too! (My own second language.)
As a teacher, my job is to explain these words in a clear way that is easy to remember. I created the lesson in this post to help my students learn the difference. I hope it is helpful for you too.
Be sure to watch the video at the end of this post to review this lesson and strengthen your English listening skills.
The verb raise has over 12 uses, and rise has around 15! I have chosen 2 meanings for each word, the meanings that my own English students often confuse.
Definitions and pronunciation links are from https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com
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raise – verb ① lift or move something to a higher level
“Raise your hand if you know the answer.”
② to increase the amount or level of something
“The store has raised the price of bananas.”
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rise – verb ① to come or go upwards; to reach a higher level or position
“Smoke was rising from the chimney.”
② to increase in amount or number
“As the price of gas continues to rise, electric cars are becoming more popular.”
The key difference is that rise is an intransitive verb. What is an intransitive verb? From https://grammar.yourdictionary.com/parts-of-speech/verbs/intransitive-verbs.html
An intransitive verb is simply defined as a verb that does not take a direct object. There’s no word in the sentence that tells who or what received the action.
We don’t put a noun right after an intransitive verb. Let’s compare 2 example sentences using raise and rise to help us understand transitive verbs and intransitive verbs.
“Universities are raising tuition.”
~Raise is a transitive verb. It can take a direct object. In this sentence, the noun tuition is the object. We also know who is raising tuition, universities are raising tuition.
From our first examples
①“Raise your hand if you know the answer.”
You (the listener) should raise your hand (direct object) if you know the answer.
② “The store has raised the price of bananas.”
The store acted upon the price of bananas. (direct object) They increased it.
“The cost of university is rising.”
~Rise is an intransitive verb. ‘Rising’ is not followed by a noun, it does not have a direct object. We don’t know why the cost is rising or who did it.
From our first example – ①“Smoke was rising from the chimney.”
Smoke rises automatically. No one is ‘raising’ the smoke. Intransitive verbs are often followed by prepositions (from) but not by a direct object.
② “As the price of gas continues to rise, electric cars are becoming more popular.”
The price of gas is increasing for several reasons, but none of these reasons are mentioned. We know that the price is increasing but we don’t know why. *In this sentence the noun electric cars is the subject of the second clause. Even though this noun follows the intransitive verb rise, it is not the direct object.
Transitive verb examples
Here are a few transitive verbs that need an object. You can see by their definitions that somebody/something is used with this verb. The somebody/something is the object of the verb.
love – to have very strong feelings of liking and caring for somebody
to like or enjoy something very much
“I love living in Tokyo.”
“Harry loves Sally.”
throw – to put something in a particular place quickly and carelessly
“Jason can throw a 150 km\hr fastball.”
“My little sister throws a tantrum is he doesn’t get what she wants.”
respect – to have a very good opinion of somebody/something; to admire somebody/something
“I respect politicians that keep their promises.”
“Mindy is very polite, she respects her elders.”
*Be careful! These verbs can also be nouns…
Hi honey, give me some love! – the verb in this sentence is GIVE.
Nice throw Jason, your pitches are getting faster. – the adjective NICE comes before the noun form of throw.
Mindy always shows her elders respect.- the verb in this sentence is SHOWS
Verbs that are only intransitive
There are not many verbs that are only intransitive. RISE is one example.
DIE – to stop existing; to disappear
“The old customs are dying.”
“His secret died with him.” (= he never told anyone)
“The words died on my lips.” (= I stopped speaking)
ARRIVE – to get to a place, especially at the end of a journey
arrive in… “She’ll arrive in New York at noon.”
arrive at… “The train arrived at the station 20 minutes late.”
“I was pleased to hear you arrived home safely.” *The noun home is not the direct object of the sentence. Home is one of 3 places that we travel TO but don’t use the preposition TO.
Go to home is incorrect. X
The other 2 locations that don’t use the preposition TO are here and there.
“Can you come here for a second?” – NOT come to here.
“My hometown has changed a lot in the past 20 years. I’m planning to go there next summer, I can’t wait.” – NOT go to there.
COMPLAIN – to say that you are annoyed, unhappy, or not satisfied about somebody/something
“Some residents have complained to the police.”
“Shoppers complained about the lack of bathrooms.”
“I’m going to complain to the manager about this.”
These verbs don’t take a direct object.
How to identify transitive and intransitive verbs
Many verbs have an intransitive form and a transitive form. Below I will list a few common examples of these verbs and explain how to identify them.
“If I want to go I will go. No one can stop me.”
Transitive – Stop is followed by the noun “me.” This is the direct object.
“Suddenly the rain stopped.”
Intransitive – Stopped is the end of the sentence, nothing follows it.
“Olivia needs to relax. She is always starting fights with her coworkers.”
Transitive – We know who is starting (Olivia) and what is starting (fights). Fights are the direct object following the verb.
“Let’s go, the movie starts at 9:00.”
Intransitive – We don’t know who or what is starting the movie. Remember that a preposition (AT) can follow an intransitive verb but a noun can not. (Adverbs can also follow intransitive verbs, see the next example.)
“Heather changed her hair. It looks great!”
Transitive – Changed is followed by the noun phrase “her hair.” This is the direct object.
“My hometown has really changed since I was last there.”
Intransitive – Changed is followed by the adverb since in this sentence, not a direct object (noun).
Conclusion – Raise or Rise? Transitive or Intransitive?
The difference between raise and rise is that rise is an intransitive verb, and raise is intransitive. We can tell from the words that follow our verbs if they are transitive or intransitive. Transitive verbs will be followed by a noun (direct object). Intransitive verbs will be followed by a preposition, an adverb, or a period or comma to end the sentence or finish the clause.
Watch the video below to review this grammar and improve your English listening. This video was made to help you understand this grammar easily!
Raise Vs. Rise Video
This post has a basic introduction to transitive and intransitive verbs. You can find an advanced explanation of transitive and intransitive verbs below:
Some of my lists were inspired by:
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