Borrow vs. lend

Confusing Words:
Lend and Borrow


The very common verbs lend and borrow are confusing
for many learners of English. One reason this happens is
because lend and borrow have the same basic meaning,
but are used for different "directions" in English.

If B needs ___ and A gives it to B for a limited time
(expecting that B will return it), A lends ___ to B (or
A lends B ___ ) and B borrows ___ from A.


Anne lent $150 to Bill. Anne lent Bill $150.
Bill borrowed $150 from Anne.

Aaron often lends his car to Brenda. /
Aaron often lends Brenda his car.
Brenda often borrows Aaron's car.

B: May I borrow your typewriter?
A: Of course. I'll be happy to lend it to you. /
(Of course. I'll be happy to lend you my typewriter.)




Lend shows that something is (temporarily) given to
another person. Borrow shows that something is
(temporarily) taken from another person.

lend ----> someone

someone ----> borrow




*I borrowed $10 to Jeff

I lent $10 to Jeff.





*I lent $10 from Jeff.

I borrowed $10 from Jeff.


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