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Old 09-20-2019, 10:33 AM
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Renting And Hiring In American English, British English, And Spanish


In America you rent housing, storage or retail space, either as the money payer or the money recipient. You would figure out which based on context.

"I rent a nice bungalow on Maple street." = Speaker likely pays the rent money.
"I rent five different houses and a couple of retail spaces." = Speaker likely receives the rent money.

In the UK, you let housing, and I assume also storage space, retail space, etc. Is that true (about the other spaces, or do you only let housing)? Does the same word apply to whether you're paying the money or receiving the money?

Also in the US, you rent equipment, like a car or a carpet-cleaning machine or a bouncy castle for your child's birthday party. In the UK you hire such equipment.

My translator app gives me the Spanish verbs alquilar and rentar, and I assume they're used interchangeably? Or is there a usage based on context, like renting space vs. renting equipment (letting vs. hiring in British English). Also in Spanish, does the verb change based on if you're paying the money vs. receiving it?

In American English, you hire someone for a short job or a long one. "I hired a plumber" (short job) or "I hired a new cook" (long job). Do you use the word "hire" in this context in the UK? And as for Spanish, my translator app gives contratar - is it used in both contexts?

And finally, a bonus Spanish question: babysitting. Translator gives me cuidar (to use caution). Is this correct? What is the noun form (babysitter)?
 

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