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rise, raise, rear

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  Ed Good  —  Grammar Tips
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All these words can be used to describe the movement of something from a lower to a higher level. The key to choosing one is: who is doing the movement and what is being moved.

Rise is used when you are lifting yourself or something is lifting itself. As a verb, it’s intransitive.

When you are lifting something or one thing lifts another, the word is raise. As a verb, it’s transitive.

Rear is generally used as a verb to describe four-legged animals standing on their hind legs or, in rare cases, an object that towers over the surrounding landscape.

Rear also has a variety of other meanings, such as rear legs or in the rear.

Finally, the verb rear describes the act of rearing children. You rear children. You raise corn. This is the old rule, but it is giving way to the use of raise when referring to the growth and supervision of children. Consider, for example, the expression born and raised in Virginia.

Example: I rise early every morning and raise the flag, which usually causes the horses to whinny and rear up on their hind legs.

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1 Comment
  • Loretta Cox
    Loretta Cox
    Webster says to "raise" or "rear" children is interchangeable. To "rear" children has become obsolete in the U.S., according to some "experts."
    LikeReply6 years ago


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