29/5/18 The Difference between Loan and Lend
The confusion between these two words is whether or not loan can be used as a verb.
In strict usage, loan is the noun, and lend is the verb.
- Loan is a noun that means something that one lends, with the expectation that will be returned.
- Lend is a verb that means to grant someone the use of something with the expectation that it will be returned.
In other words, I apply for a loan from a bank. The bank then lends me the money.
Garner’s Modern American English and The Chicago Manual of Style state that loan can only be used as a verb when dealing with money (as distinguished from the lending of things, cars, plates, books, etc.).
- The bank would not loan me the money.
- The bank would not lend me the money.
In this case, both are accepted.
In other cases, however, the traditional rules would apply.
Will you lend me your car?
Not: Will you loan me your car?
Ultimately, loan is on its way to becoming fully accepted as a verb—save the figurative sense. But, in the meantime, it would be wise to adhere to the traditional distinctions between lend and loan—at least in your professional writing.