I was reading a book and I encountered a sentence I cannot understand. As I mentioned in the title, what does "borne her in" means? Does it mean that somebody gave birth to her? Or are there any other meanings? I searched the dictionary and I couldn't find any helpful answer.

Below is the excerpt from the novel "The Surrenders"

"The wheels of the last car squealed and flashed; it was accelerating, about to pull away. In defiance she leaned forward and cried out, suspending her breath, and reached for the dark edge of the door. The world fell away. Someone had pulled her up. Borne her in. She was off her feet, alive. "

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    The author might have meant borne, the past participle of to bear;
    – Mick
    Commented Nov 24, 2017 at 10:45
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    Mick, you're right! It was a typo. "Borne her in." Maybe my paperback is the first version. Then what does this mean? Means somebody supported her? I can't find what "bear in" means...
    – user65535
    Commented Nov 24, 2017 at 11:18
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    The Cambridge Dictionary is good, and says "or US also born". Although it does not mention the meaning "carried in". Commented Nov 24, 2017 at 11:21
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    Did someone pull her into the car? The text is not clear.
    – Mick
    Commented Nov 24, 2017 at 11:32
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    @LauraMendez It looks like you've accidentally created a second account. You may want to use the "contact" link at the bottom of the page to merge them. No matter what your reputation, you can always comment on your own question and answers.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Nov 24, 2017 at 12:26

3 Answers 3


In this context:

Someone had pulled her up. Borne her in. She was off her feet, alive.

borne is a participle of bear, as a synonym for carry or bring.

Googling "verb bear" returns as the first result:

verb: bear; 3rd person present: bears; past tense: bore; gerund or present participle: bearing; past participle: borne

  1. (of a person) carry. "he was bearing a tray of brimming glasses"
    synonyms: carry, bring, transport, move, convey, take, fetch, haul, lug, shift;

  2. support; carry the weight of.
    "walls which cannot bear a stone vault"
    synonyms: support, carry, hold up, prop up, keep up, bolster up;

Someone had pulled her up. Supported her weight and brought her in. says the same albeit with more words.


I think the most likely thing is that the author or the writer means the third form of the verb to bear as she reached for the dark edge of the door here she is susceptible to fall out side 'may be' and someone bear bore borne her in because she was off her feet. I think it is the most reasonable meaning because her born is to far in the meaning from the situation it is in it is illogical !


Someone had carried her in.

Borne her in.

is an incomplete sentence. It has an object (her) but is missing the subject. It is also missing part of the verb. The simple past tense of "to bear" (meaning to carry) is "bore", not borne, "It bore her in" would be the correct simple past tense.

The missing parts of the sentence are implied in the previous sentence.

Someone had pulled her up.

Here the subject is 'someone', and the verb is 'had pulled'. The next sentence is a fragment, but we can understand that it repeats, as a literary device, the subject and auxiliary verb of the previous sentence.

Someone had pulled her up. [Someone had] borne her in.

With the auxiliary verb 'had', the conjugation 'borne' makes sense, and we know that the subject of the sentence is 'someone' - and likely the same someone as before.

The car she is in is falling, or crashing. She reaches for the door, even though it is impossible to escape (she is defying her inevitable death). Someone reached into the car, pulled her up and out of it, bore her weight as they lifted her. She ends alive, but held by the person who rescued her, suspended off her feet.

The text is retelling something that happened, so it is all past tense, but most of it is simple past tense. The two sentences in question, though, shift to past perfect to emphasize the sudden, unexpectedness of the rescue being performed and completed before the narrative returns to the simple past tense.

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