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What a great question, Kis! I've never thought about this before! Smile

The fact is, we use rent for both parties. The store rents the DVD to the customer, and the customer rents the DVD (for one or two nights or whatever time the store allows).

You can also use the phrasal verb rent out for what the store does: The store rents out the DVD / rents the DVD out to the customer.
quote:
Meaning # 17 in the LDOCE refers to 'letting out' a room or a building. This does not refer to smaller items that a store rents out.

Hi, Rachel!

Please have a look at the definition of let out from the link I have listed below
let out : to grant the occupancy or use of (land, buildings, rooms, space, etc., or movable property ) for rent or hire (sometimes fol. by out).

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/let+out

My question now is:

Don't you agree with me that movable property can refer to smaller items such as DVDs or VCDs?
Last edited by mohamedhassan
To begin with, you were looking at let, not let out. The definition adds that in this use, let can sometimes be followed by out, but it's not the common way to use the verb in the kinds of situations given.

Perhaps more important for this discussion is the fact that they say "movable property." Why did they add "movable"? It's because they're thinking of large things not commonly considered portable, like large pieces of furniture. That's the reason they say "movable property" as opposed to just saying "property," Mido.

One extra point I'd like to throw in here, and I hope it comes out right: If native speakers say that they don't hear or use a phrase, that means people learning the language should accept that the phrase in question either doesn't exist or is used by such a small minority that it isn't something they should use in their pursuit of better English.

In a nutshell, we never say let out a DVD. You can let out a room full of furniture, but not something like a DVD.
Yes, Mido, you are correct that 'let something out,' especially in British English and in law, means to lease out or rent out.

The definition specifically mentions property and buildings; those are the usual things that are let out. The 'movable items' might be furniture or something like that that goes with the property.

I suppose that if you went to a video store and wanted to rent the whole store, they would let it out to you. Then, the DVDs would be included in that rental.

But, the verb that goes with smaller things is rent. A store might rent you a lawn mower, a carpet cleaner, some tables and chairs for a party, for example, as well as some DVDs.

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