Difference between Born and Borne

Key Difference: The primary difference between them is that borne is the past tense and past principle of bear. It is used in all past contexts of bear, other than anything that is related to birth. In short, born is to be given birth to, borne is everywhere else, such as ‘to bear the weight off’, or ‘to bear yourself.’

BorneEnglish is a complicated language. There are often times when two words are or sound similar and hence often end up creating confusion. The difference between Born and Borne is of only one letter, i.e. the ‘e’ at the end. However, that one letter completely changes the meaning of the word, so much so that other than the visual similarities there are no other comparisons to be made.

The primary difference between them is that borne is the past tense and past principle of bear. It is used in all past contexts of bear, other than anything that is related to birth. It is most commonly used in the context of ‘to bear the weight off’, or ‘to bear yourself.’ For example, ‘Mary had borne the wrath of her boss’ or ‘Ann has to bear the psychological trauma of the accident.’

Another common instance where borne is used is often in the concept of ‘to carry’. For example, ‘She’s borne the weight of the discussion.’ or ‘Jane her borne herself well during the event.’ Technically speaking borne is used as the past tense of nearly all contexts of bear.

Additionally, born is also the past tense and past principle of bear. However, it is only used in one context, which is to be born, or to be given birth to. For example: “I was born in New York.” 

However, when speaking in the sense of ‘carrying children,’ borne is more likely to be used rather and born. For example, ‘She had borne five children,’ but ‘Five children had been born.’ It should be noted that here when used in the context of carrying, i.e. she carried five children to term, borne is used, whereas in the context of being born, born is used.

BornIn short, born is to be given birth to, borne is everywhere else. Both are the past tense of to bear.

Other than the fact that the two have similar spellings, another reason for their confusion is the point that until the 18th century, both born and borne had the same meaning and were used in the same manner. Both were the past participle of bear. For example, one could say “she has born you a child’ or ‘she has borne you a child.’ Both phrases meant the same thing.

However, around 1775, differences had begun to crop up in the manner that they were used in. ‘Born’ has begun to be associated with ‘being born’ or ‘given birth to’ while ‘borne’ began to be used for all other instances. This difference lasts to this day.

Comparison between Born and Borne:

 

Born

Borne

Definition (Oxford Dictionaries)

Existing as a result of birth.

past participle of bear

Description

To be born, i.e. given birth to

  • To bear the weight of
  • To carry

Type

Adjective

Verb

Examples

  • I was born in New York.
  • She was born in a village.
  • Hundreds of children are born in a minute.

 

  • She had borne five children.
  • She’s borne the weight of the discussion.
  • Jane her borne herself well during the event.
  • Mary had borne the wrath of her boss.
  • Ann has to bear the psychological trauma of the accident.
  • The disease is air-borne.
Reference: Oxford Dictionaries (Born, Borne, Bear), Grammarist,
Cambridge Dictionary, Pediaa, Grammarly
Image Courtesy: Pinterest.com

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