Lend and borrow don’t have the same meaning although they can be used to express the same idea. For this reason, students find these two verbs very confusing. Let’s take a look.
The rich guy has extra cash.
The poor guy has no extra cash.
- The rich guy lends money to the poor guy. The poor guy borrows money from the rich guy.
- If he borrows something, it isn’t a gift. He must return it.
- If you have something, you can lend it. If you lack something, you can borrow it.
Asking to borrow something:
If you want to borrow something, you can ask:
- Can I borrow [….]?
- Can I borrow $100?
- Can you lend me […]?
- Can you lend me $100?
The person with eggs can lend one.
The person who needs an egg can borrow one.
The eggless person asks:
- Hey, can I please borrow some eggs? I’ll share some of what I am cooking.
His eggy neighbor says:
- Sure. How many do you want to borrow? I can lend as many as you need.
Practice: Fill in the blanks with the word borrow or lend. (Answers below)
- I forgot my phone charger at home. You have one. Can I ___________________ yours?
- I have two pencils, but I only need one. You can _________________ one of mine.
- I want to go for a bike ride, but I don’t have a bike. You have one. Can you ________________ it to me?
- You have a car, but I don’t. I’m moving this weekend. Can I _________________ your car for a couple of hours while I move?
- It’s raining. You’re not going outside right now, but I am. Can you ____________________ me your umbrella?
- I really like that bracelet. Can I ____________________ it sometime?
- I have an extra fan. I can _____________ it to you if you want.