Lend vs. Borrow

English Vocabulary 25 March 2011 | 4 Comments

Someone tweeted me this week asking me to explain the difference between lend and borrow.  I thought that other people might have this same question so I thought I’d write about it.

lend

This word means that a person was allowed to use something for a certain amount of time and will eventually return it.  (Given to someone.)
I would love to lend you my dress. I just need it back by next week so I can wear it on a special date.

borrow

This word means that you are taking something from someone and will eventually return it.  (Taken from someone.)
Tom borrowed a shovel from me and he never returned it.

As you can see the words are very similar. The difference is the direction of the action that is taking place. Look at the picture below and see if it helps to explain these words.

4 Responses on “Lend vs. Borrow”

  1. sholeh says:

    would you mind to lend me your pen?
    I’d borrow your motorcycle for an hour.

  2. Yvonne says:

    Great job Sholeh,
    A more fluid way to say what you wrote would be:
    Would you mind lending me your pen?
    I’ll let you borrow my motorcycle for an hour or I would like to borrow your motorcycle for an hour. (depending on who is doing the borrowing)

  3. sholeh says:

    thanks Yvonne..
    I can feel that, it’s more fluid 😀

  4. Yvonne says:

    I’m glad I could help Sholeh!

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