Vocabulary concerned with renting

There are lots of ways to describe renting or borrowing things in English. I have created a list with examples to show the language use.


Borrow, loan, lend, let, hire, rent, lease





To borrow(verb) take and use (something belonging to someone else) with the intention of returning it.

I borrowed a book from the library. I borrowed a lawnmower from my friend.


To lend(verb) to allow (someone) the use of (something) on the understanding that it will be returned.

I lent Sarah my red dress.

Traditionally loan is a noun and lend in a verb but loan is more frequently being used as a verb.

I loaned Sarah my red dress.


Loan (noun) Usually a sum of money from a bank or another financial institution that must be paid back.

I got a loan from the bank.

On loan-(phrase) something is unavailable as it’s been borrowed

I’m sorry but the book you wanted is on loan.

The player is on loan to Tottenham.

The painting is on loan to the Tate.


Lender(noun) The organisation allowing something to be lent

Halifax is my mortgage lender.


To let (verb)- a room or a property is available to rent.

He let a room in his house.

The flat next door has been let.


To rent(verb)- to pay money to use something, usually a car, property or land.

I rented a car when I was on holiday in Spain.

I have been renting my house for 6 years.

Rent (noun). The money paid to rent something.

I pay so much rent now, I don’t know how I will afford to buy food.


To hire- the temporary use of something for payment

I hired a car when I was on holiday in Spain.

But not, I have been hiring my house for 6 years.



Hire (adj)

I use a hire car quite often. = I often hire cars.

(Also, “I use a rental car quite often”.)

Hire (noun)

Car hire is very expensive these days.= The act of renting a car is expensive.


To lease(verb) to rent something for a longer term

I have leased the car for six months. = I have a long term hire car

Lease(noun) the contract when something is used in return for payment

The lease on my house/car/shop is up next month.




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