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To Borrow and to Lend

In English, the verb to borrow means to take or use something that belongs to someone else for a short period of time. The verb to lend is to give something to a person for a short period of time. These two words often get mixed up by non-native speakers, so let's look at some examples. 


In the following example, Valentino lends the clothes and Sharon Stone borrows the clothes. In the end, she has to give them back.


So Valentino, the designer, lends me clothes to wear for appearances.

Caption 64, Ask Jimmy Carter - Another Interview with Sharon Stone

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The phrase "lend a hand" means "to help out."


I would not lend a hand

Caption 5, Phil Collins - In The Air Tonight

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In the following sentence, Richard Wiseman tells you to use your friend's money to play a trick on them.


Borrow a note from a friend. Ask them to place their hands palm down.

Caption 49, Richard Wiseman - 10 bets you will always win

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Of course, some people keep things for longer than they should...


You are so welcome to borrow her for the next, like, ten years or so.

Caption 5, Selena Gomez - Ramona And Beezus - Trailer

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So now you know that saying "Johnny borrowed me ten dollars" is completely wrong! You have to say either "Johnny lent me ten dollars" or "I borrowed ten dollars from Johnny."


Further Learning
Write some sentences that begin with "I recently borrowed..." and "I recently lent..." Re-write the sentences above from Yabla English so that they use the other verb and remembering to change the subject and object of the sentence accordingly. 

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