Borrowing and Lending Things in Spanish: Examples and Practice

Hola. In this short lesson, we will learn how to borrow and lend things in Spanish with the verb PRESTAR. We have included several examples with people borrowing stuff in Spanish, as well as two listening activities and interactive quizzes to test the content of the lesson and your Spanish listening skill. Let’s start…

Using the verb PRESTAR for borrowing and lending things in Spanish
Prestando cosas en español

How to borrow or lend things in Spanish – Como prestar cosas

You may have already noticed that we used the verb “PRESTAR” in the examples in the picture. This regular verb is exactly what we need to do both borrowing and lending things in Spanish. The verb PRESTAR will be used in two ways in order to differentiate lending from borrowing in Spanish though.

Lending stuff in Spanish

For lending things in Spanish, we should use direct object pronouns before the verb PRESTAR, e.g. “Me prestas” (Lend me), “Te presto” (I lend you) and “Nos prestan” (they lend to us). You can also ask for something using the verb PRESTAR in a reflexive manner, e.g. “Préstame tu auto por favor” (Please lend me your car) or “Debería prestarle algo de dinero” (I should lend him some money). As you can see, the pronoun tells who will receive the thing you are lending. This way, in the question “¿Me prestas tu libro?” I am the one asking for the book, whereas in a sentence like “Siempre te presto dinero” the reflexive pronoun “TE” tells that I am the one who lends money to someone else.

Borrowing stuff in Spanish

For borrowing things in Spanish, we could use the phrase “TOMAR PRESTADO” (literally means “take it lent”). When borrowing something, there is no need to use a direct object pronoun but we need to conjugate the verb “TOMAR” properly following the rules for regular verbs. That being said, we can easily say something like “I borrow a pen” like “Yo tomo prestado un bolígrafo”.

Generally, in other to ask for something in Spanish we will use the verb PODER, in which case we just have to care about the conjugation of PODER, e.g. “¿Puedo tomar prestado tu auto?” (Can I borrow your car?). Remember that some ways to ask questions in Spanish sound much more polite than others, some of which were presented in the lesson on requests – peticiones.

Listening Activity No. 1: Expressing “to lend” and “to borrow” in Spanish

Listen to some people borrowing or lending things in Spanish. Complete the parts that are missing with the information provided in the podcast.

Listening quiz: Lending and Borrowing in Spanish

Complete the sentences with the information in the recording. ¡Buena suerte!

Audio script: Borrow and lend in Spanish
1. ¿Me puedes prestar tu lápiz por favor?
Si claro, aquí tienes.
2. ¿Nos puedes prestar tu computadora por un momento?
Está bien. Pueden usarla el tiempo que la necesiten.
3. Préstame tu libro de matemática por favor.
No lo tengo ahorita, ayer le presté ese libro a Mario.
4. ¿Puedo tomar prestado tu auto?
No puedo prestarlo. Lo voy a usar en este momento, disculpa.
5. Yo tomé prestado tu teléfono.
¿En serio? Yo pensé que lo había perdido.

Listening Activity No.2: Borrowing and lending things in Spanish

Listen to a conversation between two friends. One will ask the other to lend him some things in Spanish. Try to get what things they are discussing about first and then solve the quiz about the content of the recording. ¡Buena suerte!

Key Spanish phrases in the conversation:
1. “Hacer mandados” means “To run errands”
2. “No funciona bien” means “Doesn’t work very well”
3. “Pedir prestado” means “Ask someone to lend you something”

Listening Quiz: Can you lend me/May I borrow in Spanish

Listen to the conversation once more and write down what she is trying to borrow in Spanish from the guy. Then check how much you actually understood through this short quiz. Press START when you are ready.

Converstion script: Can you lend me/May I borrow in Spanish
Mercedes: Alex, necesito pedirte un favor.
Alex: Dime, ¿en qué puedo ayudarte?
Mercedes: Debo hacer varios mandados hoy pero no tengo suficiente tiempo. ¿Crees que me puedes prestar tu auto?
Alex: Déjame ver… Sí, creo que te puedo prestar el auto. ¿A qué hora lo necesitas Mercedes?
Mercedes: Me lo puedes prestar en la tarde. Yo le pondré gasolina, no te preocupes.
Alex : No hay problema.
Mercedes: Algo más, ¿Puedo tomar prestada tu computadora portátil? Es que la mía no funciona bien. Te prometo cuidarla.
Alex: Si, puedes tomar prestada la computadora también. Solo que la batería no funciona muy bien.
Mercedes: Una última cosa… olvidé mi billetera… ¿Me puedes prestar 100 dólares?
Alex: Mercedes, no puedo. Solo tengo 50 dólares aquí. Te los puedo prestar claro.
Mercedes: Está bien. Le voy a pedir prestado a Alan. Gracias por todo.
Alex: De nada y buena suerte.