Difference between Lend and Borrow | Lend and Borrow

Can you tell what is the difference between the words ‘lend’ and ‘borrow’? Most people think that both these words are the same and can be used interchangeably. So are they right? Can these words be used interchangeably? Are these words synonymous? Almost every student is confused with these questions. So this article will walk you through everything that you need to know about the words ‘lend’ and ‘borrow’. Once students go through this article, it will be easier for them to understand and use these terms correctly in sentences.

There are many such words present in the English Language that often put the students in a tight spot. The reason being words like ‘lend’ and ‘borrow’ appear to have similar meanings, and students think them to be synonymous and used interchangeably. But not always is it used in sentences correctly. So to make sure that one doesn’t get confused while using the words ‘lend’ and ‘borrow’, the following points will be discussed about the difference between the words.

Table Summarising the Difference between Lend and Borrow




The word lend is used while giving someone something which will be returned after use.

The word borrow is used when someone is using something from another person, and it has to be returned after a particular period of time.


It is used as a Verb.

It is used as a Verb.


Can you lend me a pencil?

Mr Roger borrowed some money from his neighbour.

This table shows that though ‘lend’ and ‘borrow’ appear to have the same meaning, they can never be treated synonymously, and neither can be used interchangeably. For students who previously got confused about how or when to use the words ‘lend’ and ‘borrow’, this table will help them understand how they can use these words in sentences. Once they know the difference between these words, they can apply them in the correct context.

The Difference between Lend and Borrow – Meaning

If you don’t know what’s the difference between the words ‘lend’ and ‘borrow’, then you might think both these words are the same. But there’s a minor difference between them. When you are using the word ‘lend’, it means you are giving someone something that belongs to you or taking something from someone else on the understanding that it will be returned after use. While lending, there’s the chance that the person who is being given the thing might not return it in future. For example, “I lend my umbrella to my friend who forgot to return it.” Whereas when you use the word ‘borrow’, it’s implied that the thing that’s taken has to be returned after a particular time. For example, “Can I borrow the library book for a week?” Once students get this point of difference, it will be easier for them to use these words correctly in a sentence.

Example of Lend and Borrow

The following example will help students understand ‘lend’ and ‘borrow’ quite clearly.

Lend – Emily used to lend me her colours when we were in school. (verb)

Borrow – The farmer borrowed a large sum of money from the bank and agreed to return it after two years. (verb)

Once students understand the difference between the words ‘lend’ and ‘borrow’, they can easily apply them in the proper context.

Lend and Borrow – Conclusion

In conclusion, though the words ‘lend’ and ‘borrow’ mean giving someone something, they can neither be used synonymously nor can be used interchangeably. This article points out the difference between ‘lend’ and ‘borrow’ to make it easier for students to put them in sentences correctly. Apart from this, BYJU’S also offers various articles on many such ‘differences between two words’ that students often get confused with.

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