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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Feb 20th, 2008, 08:08 am
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Default Hire vs Rent

Hello.
I am faced with the following fill-in-the-gap exercise "The young and the more adventurous probably ... a motorcycle and set off for the less frequented beaches." I've got the answer key and the only possible option seems to be "hire". Before this exercise in particular we are supposed to look at the differences between "rent" and "hire" and there is where my difficulty lies. If you can rent or hire a car, why aren't we supposed to be able to hire a motorcycle? Besides, I did a google search and found more examples of "rent a motorcycle" than of "hire a motorcycle". Btw, we are talking British usage here. Thank you.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Feb 20th, 2008, 09:01 am
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Default Re: Hire vs Rent

Quote:
Quote micaelo View Post
Btw, we are talking British usage here. Thank you.
Maybe. I'm American and it seems weird to me.

You can 'hire' a person to do something (pay wages), but you can't hire a thing.

You can 'hire' a car, but that means you are actually hiring a driver and renting use of their car.

So, you can't 'hire' a motorcycle unless you mean that it comes with a rider. Strange!

You could hire a motorcycle as entertainment for your guests at an event, assuming the motorcyclist will be performing some stunts or something...
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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Feb 20th, 2008, 11:26 pm
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Default Re: Hire vs Rent

Corrent me if I'm wrong, but doesn't 'hire a car' actually mean 'rent a car' by British English standards?
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  #4 (permalink)  
Unread Feb 21st, 2008, 07:11 am
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Default Re: Hire vs Rent

Hire a car and hire a motorbike both sound fine to me. You could even hire a deckchair and reasonably expect that it wouldn't have somebody already sitting in it!
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  #5 (permalink)  
Unread Feb 21st, 2008, 08:43 am
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Default Re: Hire vs Rent

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... You could even hire a deckchair and reasonably expect that it wouldn't have somebody already sitting in it! ...


Lisa, are you British?
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  #6 (permalink)  
Unread Feb 21st, 2008, 08:53 am
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Default Re: Hire vs Rent

If in American English you can "hire" somebody to do a job, can you also do so in British or do you need a different verb, such as "contract" or "take on"?
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  #7 (permalink)  
Unread Feb 21st, 2008, 04:36 pm
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Default Re: Hire vs Rent

I think 'hire' and 'rent' are both fine (british english)

Recently we rented a car and son, who loves cars, insisted on discussing it at length. To differentiate bet it and another we called it the 'hire car' (you can't have a 'rent car' though ) and son would look up at the roof in awe. Of course he was understanding 'higher car'. He still can't figure why our own car is not a hire car' as it is actually 'higher'.
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  #8 (permalink)  
Unread Feb 22nd, 2008, 06:39 am
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Default Re: Hire vs Rent

Yes I am British. You can certainly hire a person to do something - if you know your Thomas Hardy, then you will know that there were "hiring fairs" in the nineteenth century. This may be an example of where American English has kept the old usage of hiring a person and British English has changed to mean hiring a person or an inanimate object. Interesting!
regards
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  #9 (permalink)  
Unread Feb 22nd, 2008, 09:29 pm
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Default Re: Hire vs Rent

Interesting discussion. Mesmark gave a great answer, at least from an American perspective. Thanks for sharing.
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  #10 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 15th, 2009, 10:46 pm
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Default Re: Hire vs Rent

Okay, this is a continuation if someone can give me a hand.

I need to write several pieces on renting, for example a "cherry picker"

so the forms in english I would be concerned with are:
"Cherry picker rentals available"
"You can get a Cherry picker rental"
"Do you need to rent a cherry picker?"
"Have you been thinking of renting a cherry picker?"

I get "rent" = "hire"

But what about the other forms of the word? If there are any.

It seems it would be:
"Cherry picker hires available"
"You can get a Cherry picker hire"
"Do you need to hire a cherry picker?"
"Have you been thinking of hiring a cherry picker?"

The second one especially sounds odd to my American ears. And the UK dictionaries have been absolutely no help for this for whatever reason.

Thank you ahead of time,
clamdobber@gmail.com
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  #11 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 16th, 2009, 02:09 am
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Default Re: Hire vs Rent

People aside, at least in Brit Eng it tends to depend how "big" the thing is and how long you want it for. So you would "rent " a house for a year but "hire" a rowing boat for an hour. That's usually a good "rule of thumb" guide for students.

But there's a mucky area in the "changeover" period - a semi-big thing for a semi-long period. And that's where regional and even individual differences come in - eg a car for a week. Because it becomes subjective. Is a car big or small? Is a week long or short? Some dialects/idiolects go one way and some the other - it becomes a matter of collocation rather than logic. Often, both are used interchangeably, as with rent/hire a car in Brit Eng. - so againstudents can relax. If in doubt, it probably doesn't matter.

I've no idea what a cherry picker is - I presume it's not something you use to pick cherries. So I don't know if it's big, small it is or how long you'd need it for. But the large/small thing long/short time may explain it and if it's in the middle, then again regional /individual differences will probably take over.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 16th, 2009, 02:19 pm
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Default Re: Hire vs Rent

Okay, thank you

but I already know "hire" is the proper word because it's the subject "Cherry Picker Hire."

A Cherry Picker is actually a kind of large machine, it's that truck with the basket and hydrolics used to fix telephone poles, and get to other high places.

I'm more looking for the forms of the word "hire" when it's used the way we would use "rent" in the US.

rental
rentals
rent
rents

I think it would always be "hire" or "hires"

I just need to be sure.

Thank you very much though.
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  #13 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 17th, 2009, 01:21 am
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Default Re: Hire vs Rent

OK - sorry. No - for British English too hire sounds odd in both your examples as a noun.

a) Cherry picker hires - here it's the plural that's odd. I checked with the Cobuild Concordancer and their 56m word corpus contains no example of hires as a plural noun. Go for rentals. Here are some examples :

... hotels and restaurants, TV programming and TV rentals. [p] Granada said that, by Friday, it had ...
... the proposed demerger of Thorn's music and rentals businesses later in the year.
... a demerger that would separate its music and rentals businesses.
THORN EMI, the music-to-rentals group, plans to go worldwide with its ...
Metcalf is keen to dispel the perception that rentals is a business in decline.
... best known as owner of the British-based Radio Rentals network.


b) You can get a CP hire. - here it's the collocation with get which doesn't work. But rental wouldn't collocate either. Again, no examples of either in the corpus. In this case the sentence sounds much better if you use the verb : You can hire/rent a CP

A note on rent, rental and hire as nouns. In B.Eng anyway, rent is usually used to signify the money you pay for renting something - I paid the rent for the house yesterday - whereas rental/hire describes the activity : He works for a car rental/hire firm

Hope that is more what you needed this time.
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  #14 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 17th, 2009, 01:40 pm
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Default Re: Hire vs Rent

That is a huge help, thank you so much.
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