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”.