Difference Between “Rise” and “Raise” in English

Raise or rise ? - Grammar

What is the difference between ‘Rise’ and ‘Raise’ in English?

When learning English, it’s common to encounter words that appear similar yet have different meanings. ‘Rise‘ [raɪz] (to move upwards) and ‘Raise‘ [reɪz]  (to lift something to a higher position) are two such words. They perhaps sound quite similar to the ear but have unique distinctions in grammatical function and meaning. This article aims to highlight the differences between these two English words to help polish your language skills.

1. Definitions of ‘Rise’ and ‘Raise’

The central element that differentiates ‘Rise’ and ‘Raise’ lies in their definitions. ‘Rise‘ refers to an action that something or someone does on its own, without an external influence. For instance:

  • ‘The sun rises in the east.’ Here, the sun is performing the action all by itself.

On the other hand, ‘Raise’ refers to an action performed by someone or something on another object. For example:

  • ‘He raised his hand.’ In this case, the person is the one performing the action on another object – his hand.

So, their main differences are as follows:

  • Rise:
    • Verb: To move upward or ascend.
    • Noun: An upward movement; an increase.
  • Raise:
    • Verb: To lift or elevate something.
    • Noun: An increase in salary or wages.

2. Usage ‘Rise’ та ‘Raise’

  • Rise:
    • Used for things that move upwards on their own or for natural occurrences.
      • The sun will rise in the east.
      • The hot air balloon began to rise into the sky.
  • Raise:
    • Requires a direct object; it involves lifting or elevating something.
      • She raised her hand to ask a question.
      • The construction workers are raising a new building.

3. Intransitive vs. Transitive (‘Rise’  and ‘Raise’):

‘RISE’ is an intransitive verb, meaning it doesn’t require a direct object to complete its meaning. It indicates an action performed by the subject itself. For example:

  • ‘My grades rise every semester.’ Here, ‘rise’ is an action the ‘grades’ are doing themselves and doesn’t involve a second party or object.

Contrarily, ‘RAISE’ is a transitive verb and needs a direct object to complete its sense. Someone must be raising something. For instance:

  • ‘The supervisor raises our salary every year.’ In this example, the supervisor (the subject) raises (verb) the salary (direct object).

We can draw the following conclusions:

  • Rise:
    • Intransitive verb; it doesn’t require a direct object.
      • The curtain rose, revealing the stage.
  • Raise:
    • Transitive verb; it needs a direct object.
      • He raised the flag during the ceremony.

4. Past forms of the verbs ‘Rise’ and ‘Raise’

Rise and Raise differ also in their past and past participle forms. The past form of ‘Rise’ is ‘Rose,’ and its past participle is ‘Risen.’ For example:

  • ‘I rise early. I rose early yesterday. I have risen early this week.’

On the contrary, the past form of ‘Raise’ is ‘Raised,’ which also serves as its past participle. For example:

  • ‘She raises her hand. She raised her hand yesterday. She has raised her hand many times.’

5. Common mistakes with ‘Rise’ and ‘Raise’

  • Incorrect: “He wants to rise his hand.”
    • Correct: “He wants to raise his hand.”
  • Incorrect: “The teacher gave a raise to the book.”
    • Correct: “The teacher gave a rise to the bookshelf.”

6. Additional tips for knowing when to use ‘Rise’ or ‘Raise’

  • When in doubt, consider whether the action involves something going up on its own (rise) or if it requires an external force to lift something (raise).
  • Remember that “rise” is often associated with natural or involuntary movements, while “raise” involves intentional actions.

In conclusion, the words ‘rise’ and ‘raise’ though seem closely related due to their similarity in pronunciation and spelling, serve different roles in English grammar and vocabulary. Mastering the correct usage of these words is a vital step in reaching English fluency, primarily when used in writing and conversation. Remember, while ‘rise’ implies an increase or upliftment on its own, ‘raise’ involves an external force causing the increase or upliftment. Keep practicing your English, and soon enough, these tricky word pairs will become easier to distinguish.

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