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Edustation's blog > Lend, Loan, Borrow - Mistakes & Difficulties

Lend, Loan, Borrow - Mistakes & Difficulties

Added by Tomasz H. 15 April 2014 in category: English, Grammar

What is the difference between lend, loan and borrow? Today I explain it to you how to use it correct. English learners often make mistakes. Let's see why.


It means to give something to someone for a short period of time, expecting it to be given back.

He doesn't like lending him books.

The library lent me the books one month ago.

Yes, I will lend you my car.


It's associated with a temporary provision of money (noun). But loan as a verb becomes more popular and now appears everywhere: to loan someone money and to lend someone money are essentially the same (loan = lend). But he traditional distinction is not wrong.

He gave me a loan until next month. (noun)

The library loaned me the books one month ago. (verb)

Yes, I will loan you my car. (verb)


It's just the opposite for loan & lend. It means to get or receive something from someone with the intention of giving it back after a period of time.

I need to borrow some money. (but 'the bank will lend me some money')

He borrowed a novel from the library. (but 'the library lent him a novel')

How to remember it better?

I think it's easy. Look: borrow means 'to take'. Lend and loan mean 'to give'.

You can only borrow something from someone -> borrow me a car isn't right -> loan/lend me a car is correct because you can't say take me a car -> you can say give me a car

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