Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Get It Right: Loan And Borrow

Some of you may think that the title of today's post may seem a bit insane. We can assure you that this is a mistake that people actually make. Due to the semantically similar definitions of loan and borrow, those who aren't too smart sometimes confuse the two despite them effectively being opposites.

The Bank of England is all too familiar with the differencce
between loan and borrow.

Will you be granting somebody else use of one of your possessions? Then you are loaning or lending something. If you still struggle to remember whether it's "loan" or "borrow", then you should note that you can attain a loan from a bank and it's certainly not your money. Though the word loan in this instance is the noun form, it should help to know that you can't get a borrow from the bank, though you definitely can borrow money from the bank.


Borrow is effectively the opposite of loan. This is when you make use of or have possession of something that does not belong to you, usually with prior permission. You can "borrow" things without the owner's permission, though you really shouldn't because in the eyes of the law this usually will constitute theft.

If you still cannot work out the difference between these two simple words, you should ask a friend if you may borrow a book on English grammar. We're sure they will loan you a copy if they're not using it.