borrow a fiver

“Can I borrow a fiver?”

Every now and then, you open your purse or wallet somewhere and discover you don’t have as much money as you thought, oops! But no need to panic, you are with a friend who won’t mind lending you some money. All you need to do is ask to borrow a fiver (using lovely natural English vocabulary of course!) and then pay them back another day.

1) Have a look at the natural vocabulary below:

Can I borrow a couple of quid? I haven’t got enough for my lunch. I’ll pay you back tomorrow.

Can I borrow a fiver? I’ve run out of cash. I’ll pay you back this weekend.

Can you lend me a tenner? I’ve forgotten my wallet! I’ll pay you back next week.

Do you mind if I borrow 20 quid? I’ve left my purse at home. Sorry, I’ll pay you back next time I see you.”

2) Do you know the vocabulary in bold above? Write down any useful words in your notebook.

It’s worth noting the difference between borrow and lend because it affects the pronouns you use.  Look:
Can I borrow £10? / Do you want to borrow £10?
Can you lend me £10? / I can lend you £10.
Remember when you use lend, you need a subject and an object pronoun.

3) Test your vocabulary for borrowing money:

  • Sorry Kate, c________ I b__________ a c____________ of q__________?
  • C________ I b__________ a f__________?
  • Oh, I’ve r__________ o__________ o__________ cash.
  • Oh no! I’ve f__________ my w__________!
  • C__________ you l__________ me a t__________?
  • Ugh, I’ve l__________ my p__________ a__________ home.
  • Do you m__________ i__________ I b__________ 20 q__________?
  • I’ll p__________ you b__________ tomorrow, I promise!

4) Listen to check your answers and then copy the pronunciation:

Keep repeating until you feel your pronunciation matches my model 🙂

How did you do? (Let me know in the comments section below) I hope you can remember these useful phrases next time you find yourself short of cash! 🙂


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Nicki is a Cambridge qualified, experienced English teacher for foreign learners. She loves helping English learners to learn real English and communicate with confidence!

10 thoughts on ““Can I borrow a fiver?”

  1. Thank you for these expressions. It’s interesting to find out something new.

    1. You’re very welcome Myroslava! I’m glad you liked the post and thank you for the feedback 🙂

  2. Thanks a lot for your tips, it helps so much. In fact, i didn´t know anything about those expressions and i think it´s so useful for me to learn it. Anyway, probably i will forget all this because i do not usually practise my english skills and to be honest, i speak in spanish every time. I would like to move on to England (at least, for a while) to practise properly. Again, thanks a lot.

    1. Yes, unfortunately it is easy to forget a language when you don’t have a chance to practise. Living in an English-speaking country is the best way, but not always possible obviously so it can be useful to find someone to practise with, ‘a penpal’ as we used to call it! But I’m glad you like the expressions Nicolas and I hope you get a chance to use them 🙂

  3. Hi Nicki
    I apreaciate a lot your excellent help. These tips are wonderful tools to get a conversation with other persons and put our knowledge in practice all the time.

    Thanks a lot for you help


    1. You’re very welcome! I’m so pleased to hear you enjoyed the lesson Jimy and thank you for taking the time to comment, I really appreciate that!

  4. thank you so much for these new vocabularies , they are so useful between friends,I am going to learn them by heart..I hope next time you can send more information like that with pronunciation. GREAT.

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment Julio! That’s so nice to hear and I love your motivation 🙂 Yes, more phrases with pronunciation coming soon!

  5. This is really useful for me! Thank you for including the pronunciation check, I like it so much!

    1. I’m glad you like it Lou! I will try to include a pronunciation component with my posts more often – Did you notice how the consonant sounds link to the vowel sounds? e.g. run-out-of This is a great thing to practise to improve your speaking 🙂

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