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Growing up I was often taught to share things. I think I just implicitly thought it meant in some part "to give away". To share an object (toy, bike, hammer, scissors, ...) often means to give it to someone else for a period of time meaning during that time it's not in my possession. To share some food generally means to give them a portion which you will not get back. Of course it can also imply to use together.

Now-a-days we have the "sharing economy" which is suggesting that having someone pay you to use your spare room is "sharing your house" and driving people around the city for money is "sharing your car" and picking up food at a restaurant on delivering it by bike for fee is "sharing your bicycle".

Did sharing ever imply "without compensation" or was that just my imagination? If it was my imagination than are hotel's also sharing rooms, restaurants stores sharing food and tables, and taxi drivers sharing cars? If those 3 examples are incorrect English is there a rule to distinguish when between those and the examples in the previous paragraph?

Based on the comments I think the important part boils down to the previous 2 paragraphs.

Is the normal business practice of a hotel (charging money for a room) "sharing" in the same sense that someone renting out their bedroom on AirBnB is "sharing"? Are those 2 things distinguishable such that one is sharing and the other is not or are both "sharing"?

Similarly does sharing describe both "A driver for uber offering rides for money" and "a taxi driver for yellow cab offering rides for money". Are both "sharing"?

It doesn't feel like "sharing" has ever been used in the past in the hotels and taxis cases. Just coincidence? If the 2 are the same then what does phrase "sharing economy" describe if there is no distinction between the "sharing" of rooms by landlords (apartments) and the "sharing" of rooms by owners of homes? (airbnb)

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  • There is a well-known maxim 'Share and share alike' which indicates that sharing per se may well be unfair / one-sided when imposed as a requirement. Commented May 28, 2018 at 10:42
  • Tell us the dictionary definition for share. Does it say "without compensation"? Of course not. We use the same word whether or not there is compensation.
    – GEdgar
    Commented May 28, 2018 at 10:45
  • The word 'share' has a breadth of meaning that covers sharing a taxi and sharing the cost of it, living in accommodation where rooms are private but bathrooms are shared, paying for a box of chocolates and sharing them at no cost with someone else, and owning a car and letting someone share it for a fee. It is a very broad concept.
    – Nigel J
    Commented May 28, 2018 at 10:47
  • Then the important part boils down to the last 2 paragraphs. Is the normal business practice of a hotel (charging money for a room) "sharing" in the same sense that someone renting out their bedroom on AirBnB is "sharing"? Are those 2 things distinguishable such that one is sharing and the other is not or are both "sharing"? Similarly does sharing describe both "A driver for uber offering rides for money" and "a taxi driver for yellow cab offering rides for money". Are both "sharing"? It doesn't feel like "sharing" has ever been used in the past in the hotels and taxis cases. Just coincidence?
    – gman
    Commented May 28, 2018 at 11:05

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'Share can mean 'give a portion without requiring or something in return', but that is not the only meaning possible. To share simply means to divide. If I share a cake that I have, equally, with a friend I divide it into two equal parts and give my friend one of them. In this type of sharing, payment or compensation is not always requested. I can impose a condition, e.g. I can say "I'll share my cake with you if you share your bottle of Coke with me."

Share (Oxford Dictionaries)

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