Spend/Donate

What’s the difference between spend and donate?

The verbs spend and donate can be tricky for learners of English because they are false friends in several other languages. However, the difference is quite simple. Donate always refers to the act of giving something to someone less fortunate, such as clothes, money or even blood. In contrast, spend only refers to the use of your time, money or energy.

Read on to learn the difference between spend and donate, then put your knowledge to the test in the free exercises.

Example

Sarah is going to spend the day cleaning out her wardrobe.

Sarah spends a lot of money on her clothes and they are all in very good condition.

That’s why she plans on donating them to charity.

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Spend

  • use money to pay for things
    Example:
    Sarah spends a lot of money on clothes.
  • use time (an hour, an afternoon, a day, a weekend, a year, a lifetime etc)
    Example:
    She is going to spend the day cleaning out her wardrobe.
  • use energy, effort until it is all gone
    Example:
    At the end of the day Sarah was exhausted. She had spent all her energy cleaning.

Donate

  • give something (money, clothes, food etc.) away to benefit other people
Example:
She wants to donate some clothes to charity.
  • have blood or organs removed and given to someone else who needs them more
Example:
Every year, her family donates blood to the red cross.