The Difference Between Raise and Rise: Grammar Guide
As dawn approached and the sky grew light, we raised our heads to watch the sun rise over the Golden Gate Bridge.
Raise vs. Rise
Both raise and rise can mean to move upwards, but the words are not interchangeable. Raise is a transitive verb, and rise is an intransitive verb.
Transitive verbs, such as raise, require an object. The word raise requires an object to cause the motion--e.g."The girl raised her own arm to answer the question." Arm is the direct object of the verb raise.
Intransitive verbs, such as rise, do not require an object. Rise does not require an object to do the motion--e.g, "The sun rises every morning," "She rose from her nap around 2 o'clock." The sun is rising on its own, as did the napping girl.
- Raise is a regular verb: raise, raised, raised
- Rise is an irregular verb: rise, rose, risen
Common Uses of Raise
- To elevate: She raised the bar in the competition.
- To lift something: Please raise your hand.
- To set upright by building: They raised the statue in her honor.
- To bring to maturity: She raised him all by herself.
- To increase: He raised his bet by five dollars.
Common Uses of Rise
- To move into an upright position from lying, kneeling or sitting: Please rise for the Lord's Prayer.
- To move upward without assistance: He likes to rise with the sun.
- To return from death: Michael Jackson rose from the dead in his video "Thriller".
Raise/Rise and Lay/Lie
There are similarities between raise/rise and lay/lie. Raise and lay are transitive verbs: Both require an object to complete the action. You raise something up and lay something down.
- She raised her arms in disgust.
- She laid the pillow on top of the bed.
Rise and lie are intransitive verbs: The action is done to oneself. You rise yourself (or the subject of the sentence) up and lie yourself (or the subject of the sentence) down.
- They will rise up against their oppressors.
- All she wanted was to lie down on the sofa for 15 minutes.
More information on lie vs. lay
- Grammar Mishaps: Lie vs. Lay
Are you still confused on lie and lay? Here is more information for clarification, as well as the present, past and past participle forms of the two verbs.
The Definitive Guide to Grammar: Strunk and White
This is one of the best books on grammar available. If you are a grammarian, you should definitely think about reading it.
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