rise / raise: what’s the difference?

Raise vs. Rise

Both words can mean “to move upwards”, but they are not interchangeable. “Rise” is an intransitive verb and “raise” is a transitive verb.

Intransitive verbs, like rise, do not require an object. For example:

The sun rises every morning.

She rose from her nap around 2 o’clock.

Transitive verbs, like raise, do require an object. For example:

I raised my hand to answer the question.

He raised the girl up onto his shoulders.

Note also that ‘raise’ is a regular verb: raise, raised, raised, whereas ‘rise’ is an irregular verb: rise, rose, risen.

But really most of the time it’s going to be a lot simpler to just remember which words and phrases go with ‘rise’ and which words and phrases go with ‘raise’. Here are some common uses of each:

Common Uses of Raise

  1. To elevate: She raised the bar in the competition.
  2. To lift something: Please raise your hand.
  3. To set upright by building: They raised the statue in her honor.
  4. To bring to maturity: She raised him all by herself.
  5. To increase: He raised his bet by five dollars.

Common Uses of Rise

  1. To move into an upright position from lying, kneeling or sitting: Please rise for the Lord’s Prayer.
  2. To move upward without assistance: He likes to rise with the sun.
  3. To return from death: Michael Jackson rose from the dead in his video “Thriller”.
Here’s a pdf with the definitions from Merriam-Webster: raise-rise 

This post has been adapted from http://robin.hubpages.com/hub/Grammar_Mishaps__Raise_vs_Rise

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About Robert D. E. Senior

Fully qualified and experienced Professional English teacher / trainer UK native speaker BA (hons, first class) Linguistics and TEFL 15 years experience in UK, Spain and Austria FCE - CAE - CPE - BEC V - BEC H - TOEFL - IELTS Business, Academic and General English
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