Here is a sentence from a CPE course book (The Erica James Collection (ebook): 5 Great Novels):

The trouble was that Jessica had been brought up by a strong, clear-minded and independent woman, and __________ with the expectation that she would be the same.

a) raised b) grown c) produced d) reared

My friend from the US said that he would choose "A" because it's more common, but it's an explanation I'm not satisfied with.

Having searched for a while, I found the same question asked but of no avail. Here it is :


Maybe the answer is obvious but I don't get it.I see only some excerpts from different dictionaries where is said that they USED TO BE different but now are completely interchangeable. I did the same as the author of the topic, answered "D", but the correct answer is "A". Maybe somebody can come up with something ,although there is no difference between "A" and "D" at all. Moreover if it is an old British course book and people tended to NOT use "raise" (which is the American version of "bring up") as a synonym for "bring up" back then, why "A" is supposed to be the correct alternative?

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    In my experience it's idiomatic to use rear* of animals (cattle, sheep) and raise of children or a family but a quick internet search reveals a multitude of opinions on their usage. – Ronald Sole Jun 20 '18 at 22:41
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    child rearing is commonly used. – user3169 Jun 20 '18 at 23:35
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    raised or reared would both be acceptable there. It is wrongheaded to insist on the one or the other. That raised is the more commonly used now is not really relevant to the question of correctness. rear is not obsolete. google.com/… – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jun 21 '18 at 13:11

English has many words that have the same meaning technically (denotation) but have different moods or subtexts (connotation).

Rear is used for animals or situations where you are fulfilling a duty or being particularly intentional. It has the "mood" of "hard work." In "olden times" and/or traditional rural settings people were expected to have children and have as many as possible, so rear might be used. And it's not impossible for the duty above to be one of propagating morals. So rearing your children to be strong works.

At least one online definition I found by searching Google listed "raise upright" as a meaning - meaning to raise in a morally upstanding manner.

Raise doesn't have that same implication of "duty" by itself.


It's a mistake to see language as static, it is constantly changing and evolving. While raised and reared may at one time have been totally equal, to my mind, in 2018 "raised" would be correct for humans, reared less so. Perhaps because of its association with horses rearing up on their hind legs?

I would never say reared about my children.

  • Well, it's your right to say whatever you desire. But I think you didn't get the point. They were not equal in 2005 and before that and now they are equal. You could find the confirmation in any dictionary. – Dmitrii Jun 21 '18 at 10:20

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