The word "lead" can be used as a verb, a noun, and as an adjective.

In the first set of examples, "lead" means to take someone or something to a place or into a situation. A person who leads controls others and makes decisions for other people. A thing that leads goes in a particular direction.

simplepastpast participle
  • Where does this highway lead to? (Where does the highway go?)
  • A degree in business administration can lead to a good career.
  • Let’s follow this idea and see where it leads us.
  • We were led to believe something that wasn’t true.
  • The teacher is leading the class in a lesson on pronunciation.
  • The CEO leads an organization of over 500 people.
  • The President led the country into a difficult conflict.
  • You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. (This is a popular proverb in the U.S.)


This road leads to a farm.

In this next set of sentences, the verb "lead" means that a person or a group is first among others or winning:

  • He’s leading a large pack of runners.
  • The New York Yankees are leading 3 to nothing.
  • The story about a bombing in Pakistan led the news this evening.
  • Brazil is leading by two points.

You can also use "lead" as a noun. A lead is a person who is first or provides direction to others:

  • Who’s the team lead on this project?
  • The runner from Kenya took an early lead in the race.
  • Which team has the lead? (Which team is winning?)
  • Rhonda has the lead among other candidates for the IT position.
  • She has the lead. I think she’ll win.

The words "lead" or leading" are used as adjectives:

  • Rhonda is our leading candidate for the job.
  • Dr. Smith is a leading authority on this subject.
  • The lead role for the film went to Jennifer Lopez. (She’ll be the main star of the movie.)
  • The lead author of the report made an appearance before the commission.

Click here to learn more words.

January 12, 2014