Difference Between Born and Borne

Main Difference – Born vs Borne

Born and borne are two words that are often misused by many English learners. Though both verbs can be considered as various forms of the verb, bear, there is a distinct difference between born and borne based on their meaning and usage. However, it is important to notice that these two words were considered simply as variants of the past participle of bear and used interchangeably until the 18th century. It was in the late 18th century that borne began to be considered as the past participle of bear, and born became restricted to the context of giving birth. The main difference between born and borne in the modern usage is that born is only used for contexts relating to births while borne is the past participle of bear meaning carry, endure or support.

Born – Meaning and Usage

Born is specifically used in reference to birth. It is important to note that born is always used with passive constructions that do not employ the preposition by. Oxford dictionary describes born as an adjective. Look at the examples below to understand this usage.

He was born in 1990.

She was born and brought up in Seattle.

I wasn’t born yesterday.

Three little puppies were born.

Born can be also used when we are talking about a concept or an object coming into existence.

On 29, June 2010, a new company was born.

Her work is born of hope, not despair.

Born is sometimes used to specify an innate ability or specific nationality.

He was a born entrepreneur.

She attended a lecture by an Indian-born writer.

Everybody felt that Pierre was born to be a comedian.

Difference Between Born and Borne

A child was born.

Borne – Meaning and Usage

Borne is the past participle of bear. Bear has several meanings such as carry, endure, support or give birth to. The following section shows examples for each of these meanings.


For 15 years, she has borne herself with dignity, but that single incident changed it all.

The seeds of those plants are borne by the wind.


She has silently borne the pain for years.

His constant sarcasm could not be borne anymore.


An iron vault cannot be borne by these brick walls.

The University has borne his tuition fees for 2 years.

Give birth to:

His second wife has borne 3 sons and 2 daughters.

She has borne twin daughters.

It is important to note that when we are using these two words in relation to birth, borne is always used in passive form, without by while borne is used with active sentences or with passives forms that use by. Born refers to coming into existence while borne refers to the act of giving birth.

Ex:  Anne has born twins. – Twins were borne by Anne

Twins were born.

Main Difference - Born and Borne

Dandelion seeds are born by the wind.

Difference Between Born and Borne


Born is only used in contexts relating to births.

Borne means carry, support, endure or give birth.


Born is an adjective.

Borne is the past participle of bear, and, therefore, a verb.


Born is only used in passive sentences, without ‘by’.

Borne is used in active sentences or passive sentences that employ ‘by’ (when referring to giving birth)

Meaning in Relation to Birth

Born refers to coming into existence, especially coming out of a mother’s body, and start to exist.

Borne refers to  the act of giving birth.

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