What's the difference between borrow, lend, and loan? Two of them are synonyms and the third is the opposite - lend me your eyes and I'll tell you about them.
BorrowBorrow means to take something from someone, with permission and with the intention of giving it back. The past participle is borrowed.
Can I borrow the car?Lend
You can borrow a pen from him.
I need to borrow some money.
What happened to the books I borrowed from the library?
Lend is just the opposite - it means to give something to something, with the expectation that s/he will return it. The past participle is lent.
Yes, I'll lend you the car.Lend can also be used figuratively, to mean to contribute, impart, or offer:
He'll be happy to lend you a pen.
I can't afford to lend you any money.
The library lent me those books three weeks ago.
The yellow wall will lend a feeling of warmth.Your story lends itself to numerous interpretations.
LoanLoan is a synonym for lend, used by Americans, but only for the concrete meaning (the opposite of borrow), not the figurative one. The past participle is loaned.
Yes, I'll loan you the car.Loan is also a noun, which indicates whatever object was loaned.
He'll be happy to loan you a pen.
I can't afford to loan you any money.
The library loaned me those books three weeks ago.
I'll have to get a loan to buy this house.The Bottom Line
The loan of my car was on condition that you fill it with gas.
Borrow means "to take," while lend and loan mean "to give." If you continue to have trouble with this, try substituting "take" for borrow and "give" for lend or loan - the correct word will immediately be clear.
You can only borrow something from someone: "Loan (or lend) me a pen" is correct, "Borrow me a pen" is not. (Just as "give me a pen" is right, but "take me a pen" isn't.)