Knowing Makes the Difference!




The words lend and borrow are confusing to many learners. The reason being that both are similar in meaning, but they are used differently depending on who does the action. Do you borrow to or borrow from someone? What about lend from or lend to someone? Let’s learn how to use each word because knowing makes the difference!

give something temporarily to someone.
  • She lent him a blue pen.
  • Can you lend me some money?
  • I will lend you my car for the weekend.
take something temporarily from someone.
  • My friend borrowed my dictionary.
  • Can I borrow your book? It looks interesting!
  • Jason is borrowing Cynthia’s notebook right now.

Important to know!

We can also say borrow … from… and lend… to….


  • She borrows the dress from her sister.
  • Javier borrowed $200 from Mario last week.
  • I sometimes borrow the cell phone from Sara.
  • Alex usually lends his car to his brother.
  • Did you lend your English textbook to Jane the other day?
  • She never lends her phone charger to anyone.


DIRECTIONS: Choose the best option of lend and borrow to complete each statement.

Excuse me. Can I _____ your pen for a second?
a. lend b. borrow

DIRECTIONS: Choose the best option of lend and borrow to complete each statement.

*Note: A misspelled word counts as incorrect.


  1. Our boss lends his office to the staff.
  1. May I borrow your phone? I need to make a call.
  1. It’s cold. Here, I’ll let you borrow my sweater.
  1. I can’t hear anything. Please, lend me your earphones!
  1. How much do you need to borrow from the bank?


If you borrow something from someone, you are a borrower.
If you lend something to someone, you are a lender.


Borrow and lend can be used in idiomatic phrases such as:

  • beg, borrow, or steal
    to get something at any cost.
    That contract will be ours, even if we have to beg, borrow or steal it.
  • borrowed time
    to have little time to do something.
    We’re working on borrowed time. The boss will ask for the report any time.
  • borrow trouble
    to worry about unnecessary things.
    Don’t borrow trouble by worrying about the trip. It’s until next year.

  • lend oneself or itself to something
    to give support, to be applicable to.
    It’s important not to lend yourself to corruption.
    Ambiguity lends itself to misinterpretations.
  • lend (someone) a hand
    to help someone.
    I lent my neighbors a hand with watering their garden.
  • lend an ear to someone or something
    to listen to someone or what someone has to say.
    Don’t lend an ear to gossip. Focus on your work.