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Borrow vs. Lend vs. Use

    Lend to or Borrow from

    We can easily learn when should we use lend or borrow from the position of subjects. Assuming that I need something owned by someone else.


    To receive (something) from someone temporarily, expecting to return it.

    borrow means that I take away something from someone temporarily.

    May I lend 100 dollars from you?
    May I borrow 100 dollars from you?


    To allow to be used by someone temporarily, on condition that it or its equivalent will be returned.

    lend means that someone gives away something to me temporarily.

    Would you borrow 100 dollars to me?
    Would you lend 100 dollars to me?
    Would you lend me 100 dollars?

    lend or borrow?

    Should we use borrow me or lend me according to the above explanation? The following use patterns may help us to learn which is which:

    borrower borrow(s) something from owner
    owner lend(s) something to borrower

    In short, borrow is a taking manner, whereas lend is a giving manner from the subject’s perspective. So lend me is the correct one to use.


    The act of using.

    use means that I’d like to use something owned by someone temporarily without leaving the place.

    May I borrow your cell phone?
    May I use your cell phone?

    As you can see, use is another way of borrow in a relatively lighter degree.

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