'To rend' is an irregular verb. Its forms are given here:
|Base form||past tense||-ed participle||Remarks|
|rend||rent||rent||archaic, and rare|
- This is one of the "the 250 or so irregular verbs" listed in Quirk 1985. The list "contains most of the irregular verbs in present-day English ... but is not meant to be exhaustive, particularly with regard to derivative verbs." AWE has copied most of the entries in that list. The verb 'to rend' belongs to Quirk's Class 1 B
- The basic meaning of 'to rend' is 'to tear' or 'to split'. It is an archaic verb, more common in Early Modern English, where it is used in the Authorised Version to translate the name of the practice common in Judaism as well as other cultures of "To tear (one's clothes or hair) in token of rage, grief, horror, or despair" (OED).
- Rent is not only the past forms of the verb 'to rend' but two nouns, as well as a verb in its own right.
- One noun labels the result of rending. It is a tear - especially a large tear - usually in a garment, or other piece of cloth.
- Rent is also the money paid to hire, or 'to acquire the temporary use of' something, fundamentally, in Present-day English, the money paid for the use of a dwelling-place or of some land etc. (Economists have stretched the meaning in various technical ways.)
- It can also be used informally in the compound 'rent boy' to mean a homosexual male prostitute. This is a disparaging term, and should be avoided in academic writing.
- The associated verb 'to rent'is used both for the action of a landlord seeking an income from the property he owns, and for the tenant paying the agreed sum for the right to use the property.
- the slang use associated with 'rent boys' is "To obtain money from (someone) by criminal means or in exchange for homosexual favours" (OED).