Offer / provide


what is the difference (or are the differences) between to provide and to offer? When do you use which word?

Thanks in advance,


Hi Stefanie,

Offer has the idea of persenting something to someone so that they can choose. You can offer someone a drink and they choose whether they want it or not. It can also be used with a following infinitive: You can offer to help someone. Again they can accept or reject the offer.

Provide is in a way more positive because it gives the idea of supplying. You can provide food at a function or party - which means you supply the food. You can provide for your family - which means you supply the money to pay for their needs. The army provides a soldier with a uniform - it equips the soldier with a uniform.


Thank you very much for your quick response, Alan!