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تفاوت Borrow و Lend و Loan

What’s the difference between borrow, lend, and loan? Two of them are synonyms and the third is the opposite – lend me your eyes and I’ll tell you about them.

 

Borrow:

Borrow means to take something from someone, with permission and with the intention of giving it back. The past tense and past participle is borrowed.

 

- Can I borrow the car?

- You can borrow a pen from him.

- I need to borrow some money.

- What happened to the books I borrowed from the library?

 

Lend:

Lend is just the opposite – it means to give something to someone, with the expectation that s/he will return it. The past tense and past participle is lent.

 

- Yes, I’ll lend you the car.

- He’ll be happy to lend you a pen.

- I can’t afford to lend you any money.

- The library lent me those books three weeks ago.

 

Lend can also be used figuratively, to mean to contribute, impart, or offer:

 

- Lend me a hand (Help me).

- The yellow wall will lend a feeling of warmth.

- Your story lends itself to numerous interpretations.

 

Loan:

Loan is a synonym for lend, used by Americans, but only for the concrete meaning (the opposite of “borrow”), not the figurative one. The past tense and past participle is loaned.

 

- Yes, I’ll loan you the car.

- He’ll be happy to loan you a pen.

- I can’t afford to loan you any money.

- The library loaned me those books three weeks ago.

 

Loan is also a noun, which indicates whatever object was loaned.

 

- I’ll have to get a loan to buy this house.

- The loan of my car was on condition that you fill it with gas.

 

The Bottom Line:

Borrow means "to take," while lend and loan mean "to give." If you continue to have trouble with this, try substituting "take" for borrow and "give" for lend or loan – the correct word will immediately be clear.

 

You can only borrow something from someone: "Loan (or lend) me a pen" is correct, "Borrow me a pen" is not. (Just as "give me a pen" is right, but "take me a pen" isn’t.)