English Vocabulary


Hello In my Gymglish lesson today (Horatio Olere: Walking Health Hazard) I had to give the antonym (or opposite) of the word: lend. I said "give". My answer was quoted as wrong because the right answer should be: borrow. I can't agree . For me borrow and lend have the same "background". If y lend (prête) my car to my neighbour, it is with the promise that it will be returned. If my neighbour borrows (emprunte) my car, it is with his promise to give it back to me. BUT if I give my car to my neighbour, it won't be returned to me...So for me the word "give" is the opposite of the word "lend". Who can help? Thanks


  • Hi Patrick !
    Well, you could try to see it from the perspective of the object lent : it comes from A to B. A lends it to B, B borrows it from A.
    If you used "to give", A gives it to B, B takes it from A.
    Plus, to lend is to give for a limited time, so it's not really the opposite.
  • Hi Patrick and Idoine,
    I would call a misuse of language to say that lend and borrow are antonyms. They are complementary, they need each other as if somebody borrows, there is someone who lends and vice versa. Exactly like "teach" and "learn", we can't say they are opposite, can we ?
    But I'm bemused with your point of view too Patrick, you oppose give and lend... There are just two different things, but opposite ? Would you say the same about steal/ buy ?
    For me the opposite of lend is... not to lend ! ;)
    Have a nice day, both of you.
  • Quite interesting matter! An antonym is a word meaning the opposite of another. So good is opposite to bad. Wet antonym of dry. To live is opposite to be dead. So, logically speaking Pimpanella seems to be right. The opposite of to lend is not to lend. But as idoine91 seems to suggest, to be a lender you need to find a borrower. But as antonym is a synonym of opposite, it's relevant to remember that opposite means " having a position on the other side, facing or back to back". So let's get rid of logic and let's stick to the language. The lender faces a borrower. To lend is antonymous/opposite to to borrow. Eventually the GymGlish was right - as ever. Many dictionaries will support that standpoint (for instance, see Thesaurus.com)

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