This is from a selective cloze exercise, which aims to test semantic precision:

"I was _________ in a village and even though I've now worked in the city for many years ... "

I can choose among four possible answers:
A) reared
B) raised
C) nurtured
D) bred.

I thought both A and B could be correct, which is against the rule of the "game", because only one answer is supposed to be fine.* [:^)]

The only explanation I was able to find here in the forums is this one :

I was taught (egads, 40 years ago) that "you raise animals, you rear children", by a very precise English teacher. However, I have been trying to locate current practice on the use of rear/raise, and it appears that rear has become almost obsolete.
These definitions are from Cambridge online dictionaries :
raise: to take care of a person, or an animal or plant, until they are completely grown
rear: to care for young animals or children until they are able to care for themselves

and these one from Oxford Advanced Learner's dictionary :
raise: (especially NAmE) to care for a child or young animal until it is able to take care of itself:
rear: [often passive] to care for young children or animals until they are fully grown

To sum things up, according to Cambridge dic. there would be no difference between "rear" and "raise" (within this context), while Oxford dic. suggests two reasons for choosing one over the other: active/passive form and BrE/AmE. None of them mentions that one should be used for animals and the other for children.

Sorry for the long introduction ... now I'll ask my question. Emotion: smile
Do you native speakers feel there's any difference between rear and raise? I'm interested in all of the three explanations above given (active/passive, British/American, children/animals).

Thank you!
Emotion: smile


*Just for the records, although I don't have the keys yet, I think they expect me to choose "A" ("reared"). However, I'm not merely interested in passing tests; I'd rather know how native speakers use these two words ... If I were to say or write that sentence, I think I'd use "raised" because it seems more natural to me ... but maybe my non-native ear is just failing me!Emotion: sad
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Comments  (Page 2) 
I was told all my life that, you raise corn, you rear children.
It all sounds rather pedantic to me. Everyone knows the meaning of the sentance. isnt that the important thing?
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AnonymousI was told all my life that, you raise corn, you rear children.
I agree.
The problem with the stupid test question is that it's in the passive voice.

You could say, "I was raised during the great depression."
We don't know where, or by whom, which are the key facts according to the "explanation."

I was reared/raised in Nova Scotia by my grandmother. What a mess! How can we possibly choose?
Tanit The explanation was, as a child you are reared by somebody but raised in a certain place.
According to this logic, "to raise" may never be used in the active voice, except to say, "I raise corn."
We may only ask, "Who reared you?" "Where were you raised?"

So much for semantic precision. Emotion: rolleyes
Hi... well, I was reading an obituary in the NYTimes, and it said that someone was "reared" by someone or in some place (that was a nice distinction someone noted!)... and my English education immediately kicked in and I heard that same English teacher saying that animals are reared, humans are raised. So I decided to look, and this long convcersation was very informative, thank you! I now wonder why I was told that. But, can't teach an old dog new tricks, so, for me, people are raised!
Most native speakers in the U.S. would use the word "raised", but older grammar hounds would argue (incorrectly* see note below) that the answer should be "reared". The old saying "We raise corn, and we rear children" has been passed around among ivory towers of university English departments for decades, usually regardless of context relating to place or voice or by whom does the act of rearing... "Rear is for people; raise is for corn and cattle!" they argue-- just like we hung up a shirt but we hanged the man for his crimes. "Hanged is for humans."

The real problem is that we don't know who wrote this test and if they are the old-school grammar hounds who believe reared is exclusively for children. More than likely, they are, which is why I say for the sake of the test choose "rear". But, perhaps they are scholars and did their etymological research. (Probably not, for the following reasons.)
Etymologically speaking we should consider that "rear" comes from (according to etymonline) the following: Old English ræran "to raise, build up, create, set on end; arouse, excite, stir up," from Proto-Germanic *raizijanau "to raise," causative of *risanan "to rise". Some other sources pin the word to the middle English version to around 900AD.
INTERESTINGLY, nothing about bringing up children is connected to the usage of the word "rear"-- not until the word "raise" shows up. Raise appears in publications around 1200, and not until the 1600s does "raise" have any connection to the idea of raising crops, and not until the late 1700s does "raise" have any connection to the idea of raising children!
Only AFTER this usage of "raise" pertaining to livestock, crops, and children does the usage then appear to be applied to the word "rear".
It is unclear at what point after the late 1700s that the grammarians decided in following years to create any division between which context applies to which of these two words--appropriating one for the upbringing of children and one for the caring of crops/livestock. I would have to be on paid time to dig further and find out from whom and when the distinction developed.

I can tell you that if the test-writer actually researched the etymology of "reared" and of "raised", then they would not have written this question, as it does not functionally test for your semantic precision. That is also why my best guess for the test's sake would be "reared". The unlucky part for you would be if the question were developed by the grammarian who thought there is some difference between location and person doing the upbringing to designate one as being reared vs raised -- which etymologically speaking actually has no grounds anyway! The TRUE answer, as applied by historical usage, would be raised (for children, for crops, and for livestock) as "raised" was the first word to be used with those contexts. Though, both words, according to various dictionaries, can currently be used to describe the action of fostering children AND nourishing crops and tending livestock. Oh, English, you living language... how terribly vexing and entertaining...
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My concern with the information that you seek, is rarely are the vernacular of any area accurate. In my humble opinion, looking for clarity can not happen as long as your trying to figure out what is "common" but "correct". In truth many were taught to use "reared" verses "raised". Just because no body bothered to learn it for a few generations... Doesn't make it accurate.

I suffer from a few MASSIVE reading disorders. The result is absolutely no comprehension of grammar, but a expensive vocabulary. I do apologize for any offense given.

Thank you.
AnonymousIn my humble opinion, looking for clarity can not happen as long as your trying to figure out what is "common" but "correct". In truth many were taught to use "reared" verses "raised".
The question is whether something is correct just because some uninformed school teacher said so years ago.

Mmkay, now I'm confused. I thought corn was grown and people were raised. Emotion: thinking

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Henry74I thought corn was grown and people were raised.
Sounds good to me. That's how I say them anyway. Emotion: smile

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