raise, rise and raze

Raise means to elevate (something upwards).
Rise means to ascend.
Raze means to destroy.

Raise, Rise, and Raze

The words raise, rise, and raze sound similar, and they are often confused — particularly raise and rise as their meanings are similar.

Raise and Rise

The verb to raise means to lift or elevate. To rise means to ascend from a lower position to a higher position. The past tense of rise is rose. (There is no such word as rised.)

He is raising the red ball.
With "raise", there is usually something lifting something else.

The blue ball is rising.
With "rise", the object ascends itself.

Remember, raise is not always about lifting — you can raise a question and raise children.



Raze is a less common word. It means to demolish completely or to delete. (It can also be written rase. This is not a UK convention. It is simply an alternative spelling.)

A Quick Test


The letter a in raise can serve as a reminder that the verb to raise acts on something. (This means it has a direct object.)


Verbs that take a direct object are known as transitive verbs. This is important because to raise is a transitive verb, but to rise is not. It is intransitive. It does not act on anything. This is the most notable difference between raise and rise.

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See Also

Glossary of easily confused words Glossary of common errors Glossary of grammatical terms What are verbs? (See section on 'intransitive verbs'.)