Borrow past tense

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Meaning of borrow

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


Word: borrow /ˈbɒr.əʊ/
  • 1. She often borrows books from the library instead of buying them.
  • 2. He never borrows money from his friends.
  • 3. When you borrow my car, please make sure to return it with a full tank of gas.

Past Simple

Word: borrowed /ˈbɒrəʊd/
  • 1. She borrowed a book from the library yesterday.
  • 2. They borrowed my car for their road trip last weekend.
  • 3. He borrowed my notes for the class he missed on Monday.

Past Participle

Word: borrowed /ˈbɒrəʊd/
  • 1. The book has been borrowed from the library.
  • 2. The car had been borrowed by John for the weekend trip.
  • 3. The money will have been borrowed by then to cover the expenses.

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Bare infinitive

  1. Habitual actions or routines.
    Example. She borrows books from the library every Tuesday.
  2. General truths or facts.
    Example. He never borrows money from friends.
  3. Scheduled events in the near future (often used with transportation, events).
    Example. My brother borrows the car for his driving test tomorrow.
  4. Conditional sentences or in ifclauses.
    Example. If you ever borrow my clothes, please ask me first.

Past Simple

  1. Actions completed at a specific time in the past.
    Example. They borrowed my notes for their final exam last semester.
  2. Sequential actions in the past.
    Example. He borrowed my bike, rode to the store, and bought some milk yesterday.
  3. Habitual actions in the past when mentioning the time period.
    Example. When we were younger, we borrowed video games from each other all the time.
  4. In indirect speech when the reporting verb is in the past tense.
    Example. She said she borrowed a pencil from the teacher.

Past Participle

  1. Perfect tenses Present Perfect. Describing actions that occurred at an unspecified time or have relevance to the present moment.
    Example. I have never borrowed money from her.
  2. Perfect tenses Past Perfect. Talking about an action completed before another action in the past.
    Example. She had already borrowed the book before the class started.
  3. Perfect tenses Future Perfect. Indicating actions that will be completed before a specified time in the future.
    Example. By next year, he will have borrowed enough books to start his own library.
  4. Passive voice. Describing actions done to the subject rather than by the subject.
    Example. This book was borrowed from the local library.
  5. Conditional perfect. In conditional sentences referring to hypothetical situations.
    Example. If you had borrowed my car, you would have arrived on time.
  6. In adjectival participial phrases to describe a noun.
    Example. The borrowed jacket didn't fit him well.

Common mistakes

— 01

Confusing Forms

One of the most common mistakes is confusing the past simple form 'borrowed' with the past participle form, which is also 'borrowed' in the case of the verb 'borrow.' This confusion often arises when forming perfect tenses. For example, in the sentence 'I have borrowed the book last week,' the correct form should be the past simple, 'I borrowed the book last week,' because the action is completed in the past and does not extend to the present. The past participle 'borrowed' should be used in perfect tenses when it is accompanied by the auxiliary verb 'have,' as in 'I have borrowed the book.'

— 02

Incorrect Past Simple

Another mistake is assuming that the verb 'borrow' follows an irregular conjugation pattern in its past forms. Some learners incorrectly transform 'borrow' into an irregular verb, producing forms like 'bore' or 'borren,' influenced by patterns from other verbs. The correct past simple and past participle form of 'borrow' is 'borrowed,' following the regular verb pattern of adding -ed to the base form.

— 03

Omitting Auxiliary Verb

A frequent error is omitting the auxiliary verb 'have' when using the past participle form 'borrowed' in perfect tenses. For instance, saying 'I borrowed the book' instead of 'I have borrowed the book' when intending to use the present perfect. This mistake changes the tense of the sentence and can lead to confusion about the time frame of the action. The use of 'have' is crucial to correctly form the present perfect tense, indicating that the action has relevance to the present moment.

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Frequently asked questions

What is the past simple form of 'borrow'?

The past simple form of 'borrow' is 'borrowed.' It is used to describe an action that happened at a specific time in the past. For example, 'Yesterday, I borrowed a book from the library.'

What is the past participle form of 'borrow'?

The past participle form of 'borrow' is also 'borrowed.' It is used in perfect tenses and passive voice sentences. For example, in the perfect tense, you might say, 'I have borrowed many books from the library over the years.' In a passive voice sentence, you might say, 'The book was borrowed from the library.'

How do I use 'borrowed' in a sentence to indicate a past action?

To indicate a past action, you use 'borrowed' in the past simple tense. You should include a clear time reference to specify when the action took place. For example, 'Last week, I borrowed a laptop from my friend.'

Can 'borrowed' be used in both active and passive voice sentences? If so, how?

Yes, 'borrowed' can be used in both active and passive voice sentences. In an active voice sentence, the subject performs the action of the verb. For example, 'She borrowed a dress for the party.' Here, 'she' is the subject doing the borrowing. In a passive voice sentence, the subject of the sentence is acted upon by the verb. For example, 'A dress was borrowed for the party.' Here, the action of borrowing is being done to the dress, making the dress the subject of the sentence.