borrow me a pencil, please? NO! I CAN’T!
Actually, nobody can
borrow you anything. Not because they don’t like you, but because the verb “borrow” does not work that way. In that case we need to use “lend“. Let’s take a look at BORROW vs LEND in the following pairs of sentences:
Can you lend me a pencil, please? → Can I borrow a pencil (from you), please?
I lent my mum this book the other day. → My mum borrowed this book (from me) the other day.
Marie lent her bike to John. → John borrowed Marie’s bike. / John borrowed a bike off Marie. (informal)
In Spanish, “lend“ means “prestar”, whereas “borrow” means “tomar prestado“. Also, notice that when you “lend”, you “give”; but when you “borrow”, you “receive”. Remember this!
So these are the patterns that these verbs follow:
– to lend someone something: He lent John a pair of boots.
– to lend something to someone: He lent a pair of boots to John.
– to borrow something (from someone): John borrowed a pair of boots from him.
– to borrow something off someone: John borrowed a pair of boots off him. (informal)
My advice, especially at lower English levels, is to learn one of each and stick to them until you feel more comfortable. Then you should be able to tackle the other patterns easily!
So next time you need to borrow something in or out of class, try not to make the same mistake again! But if you do, don’t worry! You’ll manage eventually!
For more tips & funny bits, follow KSE on Facebook! ;-D