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Is It Borne Or Born

Published by at February 14th, 2024 , Revised On March 1, 2024

In the labyrinthine world of English grammar, where homophones lurk and verb conjugations dance a complex jig, few pairs cause as much confusion as “born” and “borne.” Both carry the weight of the verb “bear,” whispering tales of burdens carried and lives begun, but when should we choose one over the other? 

Read this blog to understand the meaning of the two confusing words and how you can use them in your sentences. 


Let’s begin with “born.” This term is primarily a past participle of the verb “bear,” which means to give birth to or bring forth. “Born” is used to describe the act of coming into existence, especially through the process of childbirth. It is commonly employed when referring to human or animal origins. For example, one might say, “She was born in a small town,” indicating the place where someone entered the world.

Apart from its association with birth, “born” is also used in a broader sense to express the beginning or origin of something. For instance, “The idea was born out of a collaborative effort,” illustrates the inception or creation of an idea or project.

Examples Of Born

  • She was born on a sunny day in June.
  • The novel’s protagonist was born into a world of mystery and intrigue.
  • The idea for the groundbreaking invention was born in a small garage.
  • Talented musicians are often born with an innate sense of rhythm and melody.
  • The comedian seemed to be born with a natural gift for making people laugh.
  • The idea was born during a late-night conversation among friends.
  • Innovation is often born when individuals challenge the status quo.


On the other hand, “borne” is the past participle of the verb “bear” when used in the sense of carrying or transporting. Unlike “born,” which is linked to the act of coming into existence, “borne” refers to the act of carrying or enduring. It is commonly used in the context of carrying a burden, responsibility, or experience. For example, “He has borne the weight of his family’s expectations throughout his career.”

Additionally, “borne” is often used in a passive construction to indicate something that is carried or conveyed. “The wind bore the message” implies that the wind served as the medium for transporting the message.

Examples Of Borne

  • The soldier bore the weight of his fallen comrades on his shoulders.
  • The news of the tragedy was borne by the swift wings of social media.
  • Over the years, the company has borne the challenges of economic fluctuations.
  • The actor bore a triumphant smile as he accepted the prestigious award.
  • She bore an air of confidence during the high-stakes presentation.
  • The female sea turtle returned to the same beach where she was born to lay her eggs.
  • The soldier bore the emotional burden of witnessing the horrors of war.
  • Despite the challenges, the team bore the pressure and emerged victorious.

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The Difference Between “Born” And “Borne”

The key distinction between “born” and “borne” lies in their respective roles – one is associated with the act of coming into existence, while the other pertains to carrying, enduring, or conveying. It is crucial to understand the context in which these words are used to avoid confusion and convey the intended meaning accurately.

Aspect “Born” “Borne”
Definition To come into existence, especially through birth. Carried, transported, or endured; past participle of “bear.”
Context Birth, origin, creation, or beginning. Carrying a burden, responsibility, or conveying something.
Examples She was born in London. He has borne the weight of his responsibilities.
The idea was born during a brainstorming session. The news was borne by the wind.
Born leaders often emerge in times of crisis. The soldier bore the scars of battle.
The project was born out of collaboration. The river has borne ships for centuries.
Usage Tips Associated with coming into existence, birth, or creation. Associated with carrying, enduring, or conveying something.
Common Phrases Born and raised. Borne out of necessity.
Born with a silver spoon. Borne by the wind.

Beyond The Basics

Remember, language is a playground, and mastery thrives on exploration. Here’s how you can elevate your use of “born” and “borne”:

  • Compound adjectives: “Born leader,” “borne aloft by faith,” “a heart born to heal.”
  • Figurative expressions: “Ideas born in the heat of debate,” “dreams borne on the wings of imagination,” “burdens borne willingly.”
  • Alliteration and rhyme: “Born bright, destined to shine,” “A love story borne on the waves, whispered promises, etched in caves.”

Frequently Asked Questions

An idea is “born” when it originates or is conceived in one’s mind, signifying its inception. On the other hand, the realisation or conveyance of the idea is “borne,” as it is carried forward or communicated. Thus, the creative spark is born, while its development and expression are borne through various mediums.

Yes, “borne” is grammatically correct. It is the past participle of the verb “bear” when used in the sense of carrying, enduring, or conveying. It is crucial to use “borne” in contexts where there is an element of carrying a burden, responsibility, or conveying something, distinguishing it from “born.”

It is “borne out.” The phrase “borne out” is correct, indicating that something is supported, sustained, or confirmed by evidence or circumstances. Using “born out” is a common mistake; “borne” is the correct past participle of “bear” in this context, emphasising the idea of carrying or enduring through evidence or experience.

In a sentence, “borne” is used to convey the idea of carrying, enduring, or conveying something. For example: “The community has borne the challenges of rebuilding after the disaster.” Here, “borne” emphasises the community carrying or enduring the difficulties associated with the process of rebuilding.

The correct usage is “borne.” For instance, “The cost of the project was borne by the company.” In this context, “borne” indicates that the company carried or endured the financial responsibility. Using “born” in this context would be incorrect, as it pertains to the act of coming into existence.

The correct phrase is “borne fruit.” For example, “His hard work and dedication have borne fruit in the success of the project.” Here, “borne” indicates that the efforts have resulted in success, emphasising the idea of carrying the fruits of labour to realisation. Using “born fruit” would be grammatically incorrect in this context.

“Borne by me” means that a person is carrying or enduring a particular responsibility, burden, or consequence. For instance, “The financial challenges of the project were borne by me,” indicates that the individual is personally carrying or shouldering the financial burdens associated with the project.

“I was born in” is in the past tense. The verb “was born” is the past tense form of the verb “to be” in conjunction with the past participle “born.” This construction is commonly used to express the circumstances of one’s birth or the place and time of birth.

About Alvin Nicolas

Avatar for Alvin NicolasNicolas has a master's degree in literature and a PhD degree in statistics. He is a content manager at ResearchProspect. He loves to write, cook and run. Nicolas is passionate about helping students at all levels.