Don’t Confuse Borrow and Lend – English Lesson for Germans

Which should I use?

Welcome to this online English lesson about translating the words "leihen" and "ausleihen" into English. Start by watching this video:


The German word “ausleihen” has two translations in English – borrow and lend. These words have opposite meanings.

Borrow = to receive something you don’t own (and give it back later)

Lend = to give something you do own (and hopefully get it back later)


Beginner Exercise:

Is each sentence correct or incorrect?

1 – Can you lend me your car? I need to drive to Munich to visit my mother.

2 – I can borrow you some money if you don’t have enough.

3 – I need to borrow me a bike when I visit my friend in Amsterdam.

4 – Whenever I borrow someone something, I don’t get it back.

5 – My girlfriend lent me a pen so I could write her a love letter.

Advanced Exercise:

Answer the following questions. Write your answers in the comments below to get personalized feedback.

1 – What things do you own that you won’t lend anyone?

2 – Have you ever had to borrow money from someone? Have you ever lent money to someone?

3 – What things would you lend to your neighbor?

If you have any questions, feel free to write them in the comments below (auf Englisch oder auf Deutsch).

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