It is common for certain non-native speakers of English to use the word “lend” and “borrow” interchangeably. Though the meaning is the same, their usage in a sentence is actually different.
“Lend” is used with the preposition “to”
“Borrow” is used with the preposition “from”
- I’m lending this book to you for a week. (√)
- I borrowed some money from my father. (√)
- Please lend (to) me a few dollars. (√)
- You may borrow a few dollars from me. (√)
- Please borrow me a few dollars. (X)
In Sentence #3, the preposition “to” is omitted when there is a pronoun immediately after the word “lend“.
Sentence #5 is commonly uttered by some students, but is wrong because it doesn’t make sense. Firstly, the preposition “from” is missing. Secondly, you cannot borrow a human. You can only borrow something from someone.
Here’s a simple formula to help you remember the difference:
- lend = giving out , lend TO
- borrow = taking in , borrow FROM