Loan and lend are misused so frequently – even in print and TV advertising – that it’s no wonder so many of us get the word usages mixed up. Loan is a noun; lend is a verb. That’s the bottom line.
Loan is a noun:
- I asked the bank for a loan.
Lend is a verb:
- Will you lend me some money?
Incorrect: The bank will loan me $100,000 to buy a house.
Correct: The bank will lend me $100,000 – or – The loan from the bank is for $100,000.
Incorrect: I loaned her my best sweater.
Correct: I lent her my best sweater.
When I’m in doubt about a correct word usage, I look in my The Chicago Manual of Style. It’s got everything.