LEND and BORROW – Don’t confuse these English verbs (VIDEO)

Learn to use the English verbs “Lend” and “Borrow” correctly in natural conversation

A common problem my English students have here in Japan is using the verbs lend and borrow correctly. It’s easy to confuse these verbs because you can use each of these words in a sentence to explain the same action. The action is the same but the subjects have to be different with each verb.

“Can I borrow $10.00?”

“Can you lend me $10.00?”

These 2 sentences have the same meaning. Whether you need to use lend or borrow depends on the subject of your sentence. I have had success explaining this to my students by comparing lend and borrow to give and get.

Let me explain using our examples. (Video at the end of this post!)

Lend and Borrow

Borrow

borrow [verb] to take and use something that belongs to somebody else, and return it to them at a later time

Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary BORROW

“Can I borrow $10.00?”

The grammar for borrow is the same as get.

Can I get $10.00?

In this sentence the subject is I. The grammar for the sentence with I borrow is the same as the grammar for the sentence with I get. The difference is that borrow is not forever, it’s for a limited amount of time. After some time you will get the $10.00 back from me.

LEND and BORROW - borrow

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Lend

lend [verb] to give something to somebody or allow them to use something that belongs to you, which they have to return to you later

Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary LEND

“Can you lend me $10.00?”

The grammar for lend is the same as give.

Can you give me $10.00?

In this sentence, the subject is you. The grammar for the sentence with you lend is the same as the grammar for the sentence with you give. The difference is that lend is not forever, it’s for a limited amount of time. After some time I will give the $10.00 back to you.

LEND and BORROW - LEND
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Lend and Borrow conclusion

So if you’re not sure how to say your sentence just replace borrow with get and see if it sounds correct. If you’re not sure which subject to use just replace lend with give and see if it sounds natural. If it does, you’re using lend and borrow correctly!

LEND and BORROW

Watch the VIDEO.

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  1. Pingback: Verb and noun pairs with examples (audio+PDF) - World English Blog

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