could you lend me some money

This week we answer a question we received in an tin nhắn from Tina. She writes:


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I just want lớn know how lớn use the words "borrow" and "lend" in a situation. Is it correct lớn say, "Could you lend bủ a pen?" or " Can I borrow your pen?" Thank you very much.


These two words are a source of trouble for many English learners. The reason? They have about the same meaning, but each word's action goes in different directions.

“Borrow” means lớn take something from another person, knowing you will give it back lớn them.

“Lend” means lớn give something lớn another person expecting lớn get it back.

So the sentences you asked about are both correct. Your choice of “borrow” or “lend” depends on which direction is more important lớn you.

Imagine yourself in the middle of the picture. Anything you “borrow” moves toward you. Things you "lend" go away from you.

Borrow vs Lend

Borrow vs Lend

Notice that the prepositions that often follow the verbs are different. We borrow from someone, but we lend to someone.

Let’s say you and I go shopping, Tina. I need lớn sign my name on a receipt, but I vì thế not have a pen. So I ask you, “Can I borrow a pen?” I chose “borrow” because I am thinking of the action as it relates lớn bủ. You are a good friend, sánh you lend bủ the pen. I forget it is yours and I put it in my bag.

Later, we meet a good friend and she asks for your tin nhắn address. You tìm kiếm in your bag, but – no pen! You think, “I lent Jill my pen. And she didn’t give it back lớn bủ.” Now you are thinking of the action that you did. So, you can ask bủ, “Jill, vì thế you remember that pen I lent you? I need it now.”

I feel bad that I forgot lớn return the pen. I say, “Sorry, Tina! I forgot that I borrowed it. Here you are!”

Be careful: personal pronouns lượt thích bủ, you, him and others never come after the verb “borrow,” but it is correct lớn use them after “lend,” as in, “Lend bủ a dollar for some ice cream.”

I hope this helps you understand “lend” and “borrow.”

Xem thêm: trắc nghiệm lịch sử 12 bài 1

And that’s Ask a Teacher!

I’m Jill Robbins.

If you want lớn learn more about borrow and lend, see our Everyday Grammar TV episode: Lend vs. Borrow

Dr. Jill Robbins wrote this story for Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

Do you have a question for the teacher? We want lớn hear from you. Write lớn us in the Comments Section.


Words in This Story

preposition – n. a word used lớn show a relation

Rules lớn remember:

When we use “borrow” in a sentence, we use the preposition “from.”

Andy borrowed a siêu xe from her friend Judy.

When we use “lend,” we use the preposition “to.”

Mario lent the computer to bủ.

Personal pronouns come directly after the verb “lend.”

Xem thêm: tóm tắt rừng xà nu

Did Linda lend you her phone?

Now try this practice:

Which sentences are correct? If a sentence has an error, change it lớn make it correct.

  1. Sarah always borrows bủ her comb.
  2. I lent a pencil from Ahmed yesterday.
  3. Can you lend bủ your umbrella?
  4. He wanted lớn borrow some money from bủ.
  5. Do you want lớn borrow the coat lớn me?