Borrow – Lend – Loan – Owe
These are usually words associated with money.
When someone borrows money, or indeed borrows anything, it means they are taking it with the promise of giving it or paying it back at a later date.
- A: Can I borrow 50 pounds?
- B: Hm, that’s a lot of money. When can you pay me back?
- A: Next week, it’s just until I get paid!
- B: Okay, as long as you pay me back!
You can borrow money from a friend or from a company, either way you will be expected to pay them back eventually! Be careful when you borrow money.
When you lend something to someone, you let them borrow it.
- A: I can lend you 20 pounds for now and give you 30 later.
- B: Okay that’s fine. Thank you!
- You can also lend things other than money:
- A: Could you lend me that pen for a second? I just have to write something down.
- B: Yeah, here you go.
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When you loan something to someone, you are lending them something for an extended period of time.
- A: Hey, could you loan me your computer for the month?
- B: Okay, what do you need it for?
- A: Just to type my personal statement for university. It will take some time and mine is broken.
- B: Okay, no problem!
You may have heard of a bank loan, this is when you borrow money from the bank and then pay it back over a longer period of time.
And then we come to owe! When you owe someone something it means that they have given you something and you need to repay them. For example, after you borrow 50 pounds from someone, you owe them 50 pounds.
- A: Hey, you know that you still owe me 5 pounds?
- B: What for?
- A: Because I lent you it at the bar the other night.
- B: Hm, okay I will give you it soon.
- One good expression that uses this word is you owe me. This is something you can say to someone else when you do something that has no material value but really helps them in a difficult situation.
- A: Oh my god thank you so much for not telling the teacher I didn’t do my homework.
- B: Okay, you owe me.
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