TESOL/Borrow and lend

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Bookshelves in a library
We borrow books.

The words borrow and lend can be confusing for people learning English.

Listen[edit]

Meaning[edit]

Just remember borrow from and lend to.

  • I borrow a book from the library.
  • The library lends a book to me.

Mechanics[edit]

You can lend something to somebody, or you can lend somebody something.

  • I will lend you my notebook.
  • I will lend my notebook to you.

Borrow is different. You can only borrow something from somebody.

  • Can I borrow your book from you?
  • Can I borrow you your book?

Practice[edit]

1 Could you - me your pen?

lend
borrow

2 Can I - your computer?

lend
borrow

3 You can - this DVD for 7 days.

lend
borrow

4 Could you - us a hand?

lend
borrow

5 How many books can I - at a time from this library?

lend
borrow