What’s the difference? Leave and Let

March 8, 2018 - Priscila Pereira

1 Comment

Hey, friends! How are you doing?

In today’s post, I’m going to talk to you about the difference between 2 verbs many English students tend to confuse! Leave and Let! I will show you some examples and give you all the explanation you need so that after this post you can finally master how to use these verbs like native speakers do!


This is a very popular verb in English. One thing students always get confused about is the conjugation of this verb in the simple past form. It is “LEFT” YES! This is the conjugation of leave in the simple past. “Left” can also mean a “direction” (the opposite direction of “right”)

Leave = go

In this case, “leave” means to go away from one place or even from a person. Look at some examples:

The plane leaves in 5 minutes. (the plane is “departing” in 5 minutes)

I’m tired! leave me alone (go away from me, leave me alone)


In the same condition/place

You can also “leave” or make someone/something stay in a particular/same condition or place.  Look at some examples:

You can leave the door open! (don’t close the door, the door can stay in the same condition (open)

I left my cellphone in the car. (the phone stayed in the car)



You can also use leave with the idea of “abandoning” something or someone.

I can’t believe he left me! We had been together for 2 years.




The verb “let” means to give permission, to allow. However, you can also use “let” + ‘s in imperative sentences. In this case the meaning will be different. We will talk about this in a little bit.

Let = permission/allow

Firstly, we can use “let” with the idea of permission. Take a look at some examples below:

My dad won’t let me watch TV at night! In this case, the girl has no permission to watch TV at night.

Let me say how happy I am for you!! Congratulations! – in this case, I’m asking for “permission” to say that I’m happy for someone

Let =  + infinitive

This is a very common use of “let”. The phrase starts with Let us or Let’s (contraction)  plus another verb. In this case the idea is to make a suggestion or an invitation to do something.

Let’s watch some TV and order pizza. (here I am suggesting watching TV and ordering pizza)

Let’s forget about this problem and focus on the good, shall we? In this case, I’m giving a suggestion of forgetting about a problem and focusing on the good.

A suggestion to yourself…

 It is also very common to give oneself suggestions in English with “let”. Yep, you give the “suggestion to yourself”. Take a look at some examples:

Do you wanna come to the party with us? hmm, let me think. Yes, I’m free, so I can definitely go!

Jack: I can’t open the door!!

Joe: Oh, really? Let me try.


These are very popular combinations with the verb “let”.

Let me know if you are coming to the party or not! I need to know how many people are coming!

If you have any questions, let me know!

Let me tell you something important. It is about the reports.




Leave or Let? Write the correct verb.

  1. Thanks for calling. Mr. Smith is not available. Would you like to _______ a message?
  2. I never _____ my kids play in the rain. They could catch a cold!
  3. Can you please _______ me alone! I need to focus on my homework
  4. How many tickets do you need? oh, _______ me think… about 5.
  5. My mom always _______ me use her phone
  6. I don’t understand this exercise. Oh, ____me have a look
  7. He doesn’t remember his father. He _____ more than 20 years ago.

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Priscila Pereira

Starbucks and TV Series lover: juggling with teaching, blogging, and a YouTube life! I’m teacher Prix and I want to help you talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime in English! This blog is for English speakers who are looking for an effective blog. Get inspired by hundreds of different posts for all English levels, so that you can finally learn English easily and effectively on the internet.

One thought on “What’s the difference? Leave and Let

  • eliseo

    March 8, 2018 at 23:24

    Thanks a lot my very dear teacher prix. 🙂


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