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Born and borne

Home » English Confusions » Born and borne

Born and borne

What’s the difference between born and borne? Well, born is strictly an adjective meaning ‘to have come into the world from birth’, and ‘borne’ is the past participle of ‘bear‘ with the meaning of ‘can not stand’ or ‘strongly dislike/hate’.

With born, we always use it in the passive when someone is born.

For more information on the passive, see this link All passive forms. Born or borne with explanations and examples to follow:

Born = an adjective and past participle meaning to ‘give birth’

The passive voice is highlighted in red. It is also used a lot figuratively.

  • She was born in New York City hospital.
  • Many babies are born every single second.
  • What day were you born? I was born on the 4th of April.

The verb ‘bear’, verb, past simple= ‘bore’, past participle= ‘borne’, meaning ‘to not be able to stand something’ or ‘strongly dislike something’ 

  • I really cannot bear that lady.
  • The secretary can’t bear me.
  • I can bear my colleagues, but only for a few hours.
  • I’ve borne her for ages, too long some would say.

The verb ‘bear’ also takes the sense ‘carry’ or ‘gives birth to’ 

  • My lord, you have borne so many of us to victory.
  • The king has borne many children.
  • Many of us have been borne there, to the chamber.

See also