"Raise" or "Rise"

Dear all

Please see the sentence given below from Dan Brown’s book Da Vinci Code.(Page: 175)

1- Langdon felt his arms raise instinctively for the ceiling.

Shouldn’t it be rise?


Hi, Tom
Material about rise and raise was posted by Alan. Though a little bit
Raise is a transitive verb
Rise intransitive
Ex. The sun rises
I raised my hand for giving an answer

But in your sentence I’d agree with you because hands were not raised by a man but were risen instinctively by themselves(I expressed myself not in so correct way.I’d say a bit rudely :smiley: )

Hi Tom

I’d feel most comfortable with “raise”, although this seems to be a bit of a borderline case.

The verb “raise” is typically used with hands/arms. “Rise” would be pretty rare. The phrase “for the ceiling” adds a sense of intention, despite the use of “instinctively” in the same sentence. So maybe you could look at the sentence this way:

Langdon felt his arms raise (themselves) instinctively for the ceiling.

Also, if the verb “rise” had been used, I’d have preferred “rise toward the ceiling”. “For” doesn’t work.


Dear A my

I did understand your point of view but the difference is too confusing here…raise with no object at all!And then your being comfortable about it–the latter part was more hurtful. :smiley:

Could you please give me a few more examples about the same use where raise is used like rise?Thanks


Hi Tom

That’s why I wrote this sentence. You should look at “themselves” as the (understood) object.


Hi Tom,

Let’s just agree that raise has an object and rise doesn’t. It’s the same pattern as lie and lay.

You raise (put up/lift up)your eyebrows/arms/legs/hopes/aspirations and whatever and as a result eyebrows/arms/legs/hopes/aspirations rise(go up).

Likewise you lay (place down) your hands on the table and as a result your hands lie(are lying)(are there horizontal) on the table.