Lend vs Borrow

The problem with many people is that they use the word borrow almost exclusively for both the words borrow and lend. In fact, they almost never use the word lend. For them, either giving or taking something as a loan is borrow.

This is undoubtedly a case of mother tongue interference. In the three major languages (Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese, and Tamil) of the country, there is only one word for both borrow and lend.


  1. I borrow him my book.
  2. She wants to lend ten ringgit from her father.

Both the sentences above are wrong. The sentences should be written as:

  1. I lend him my book.
  2. She borrow ten ringgit from her father.

To help you remember which of the two words to use, it may be helpful to use this mnemonic device: Lend to (someone) and Borrow from (someone).