Leave/Let

Introduction

Let and leave have similar meaning, however, we use them differently. Here we explain when to use leave and when to use let in Enlgish.

Let

We use let when we allow something to happen. Let indicates a change of state or movement.

Example:
She let the cat out.

The cat moved from inside to outside.

The small window let in a surprising amount of light.
He let the water drain out of the bathtub.

Leave

We use leave when something remains in the same state, place or condition. Leave indicate the something does not change or move.

Example:
Don’t forget to let the cat in, we wouldn’t want to leave her outside all night.

The cat would remain outside where she is. Her position would not change.

Please, leave the keys on the kitchen table for me.

We use the phrasal verb leave sb/sth out when somebody or something is not included.

Eaxmple:
Tell me the whole story and don’t leave anything out.

See also Leave/Forget.