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Raise / rise

Gordon Brown

A question from Alice in France:
'Raise' and 'rise' - it's difficult to use them. Will it be possible to explain these two verbs in BBC learning English? Thank you.


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Amos Paran answers:
Well, the basic meaning of the two verbs, 'raise' and 'rise', is almost the same - moving up, from a low position to a higher position, either physically or metaphorically.

The difference between them is a grammatical one. 'Raise' needs an object, and 'rise' cannot take an object. So, for example, I can say that I personally think that the government of this country needs to raise taxes (and 'taxes' is the object of the verb); another way I can say that is that I think that taxes need to rise. We are always talking about the need to raise standards (and 'standards' is the object of the verb) - another way of saying it is that standards need to rise.

Hope this helps!

Amos Paran is the Course Leader of the MA in Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) by Distance Learning at the Institute of Education, University of London. His main teaching and research interests are reading in a foreign language and the use of literature in foreign language teaching and learning.


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