Born and borne are both past participle forms of the verb “bear,” meaning “carry.” They’re both pronounced in the same way.
“Born” is used when you’re referring to birth, whether literally (to childbirth) or figuratively.
“Borne” is used in all other cases, when you’re just referring to bearing (carrying) something. It’s also the spelling used in compound words like “airborne” (carried through the air) and “blood-borne” (transmitted by blood).
Examples: Born in a sentence
Examples: Borne in a sentence
He was born in New York in the summer of 1957.
Mosquito-borne diseases are a major problem in tropical climates.
Greatness is often born from adversity.
She had borne the responsibility for many years.
She was a born leader.
My hard work has finally borne fruit.
The hospital I was born in has been demolished.
It must be borne in mind that little research has been done into this subject.
Exception: Borne to refer to pregnancy and childbirth
There’s an exception to the rule of using “born” to refer to birth. When the subject is the mother rather than the child, the correct term is “borne,” not “born.” This can refer both to the moment of birth and to the whole pregnancy.
Worksheet: Borne vs. born
Do you want to test your knowledge of the difference between “born” and “borne”? Use the practice worksheet below! Fill in either “born” or “borne” in each of the sentences.
Jack is a Brit based in Amsterdam, with an MA in comparative literature. He writes for Scribbr about his specialist topics: grammar, linguistics, citations, and plagiarism. In his spare time, he reads a lot of books.