What's the Difference between "Expand" and "Expend"?



Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All English Tenses

Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All Tenses

Expand = to become bigger in size or importance. 

  • "His business expanded greatly throughout the previous year."
  • "Balloons expand when you blow into them."
  • "Our little class has expanded into a big school."
To expand also means to make something else bigger in size or importance.

  • "He wants to expand his vocabulary."
  • "The government is going to expand the airport."
  • "They will expand the short movie into a mini-series."
The word "expend" has a completely different meaning… 



Expend = to use a lot of time, money, energy, etc.

  • "James has expended all his efforts to help his family get out of debt."
  • "Beth has expended huge amounts of money to build her dream house."
  • "We have expended a lot of time and money on promoting our products."
In summary, to expand is to grow, and to expend is to use.

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