Lend and Borrow; Send and Sorrow

Lend and Borrow

Do you know the difference between these two words?  They confuse most people.  Why?

They’re confusing because both words describe financial transactions between people and/or institutions.  Also, because you can see the same transaction from two different perspectives, often either word will work – IF YOU CHOOSE CORRECTLY.  First, let’s look at the differences.

Lend is to give money.
Borrow is to receive money.

Here’s the “S” trick:
When you say “lend” think “send”, like send an email or letter – something that goes away from you.
When you say “borrow” think “sorrow” (means sadness or the state of being sad). Normally when it’s necessary to “borrow” you are a bit sad.  If you have no money, you experience “sorrow” and have to “borrow”

“Can you lend me $100 until next week?” (think “send”)
“I don’t like to borrow money, but right now it’s necessary” (think “sorrow”)

Now let’s look at point of view or perspective – the real reason people get confused.

The following two sentences have the same meaning.  You can decide to explain the situation with “Send” or “Borrow” – just remember the rules.

Evan borrowed money from Angela.
Angela *lent money to Evan.

Notice, when we include the direct object, the prepositions are…
Borrow FROM x
Send TO x

*”Lend” is irregular in the past: lend, lent, lent.  Notice it follows the same rule as “Send”.

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