Pay – learn how we use this verb with different prepositions

Pay! This English verb can be tricky because we use it with different prepositions. Learn the rules we follow and fix some common mistakes.


Click here to see more vocabulary videos
Click here to download our free checklist on common mistakes

How to use the verb pay in English video script

Yes?
I’d like to return this sweater.
Do you have the receipt?
No, I’m sorry. I lost it.
Did you pay by credit card?
No, I paid cash.
Then I’m sorry. I can’t help you.
But I just bought it this morning.

This lesson’s about the verb ‘pay’ and the prepositions that go with it. So pay attention! We’re going to fix a common mistake.

Twenty five dollars?
Ooooo pizza!
Yes, come and have some, Kathy.
Who bought it?
Well, I ordered it.
And I paid for it.
Thanks Jay.
I paid $25.
I ordered extra toppings.
You know, I paid the pizza guy last week too.
Do you want us to contribute?
Oh there’s no need. He’s already paid for it.

OK. So we can pay an amount, we can pay a person and we can just pay. But notice we pay for something that we buy. Remember that. Pay FOR something. So we pay someone an amount but we pay for something that we buy.

Do you want to split this?
No, no, I’ll pay for it.
Ah, thank you very much. It was a beautiful meal.

When we’re talking about a currency, we say pay in. So in dollars, in pesos, in rubles, in euros.

How much is that? 10 Euros.
Oh, can I pay in dollars?
Err no, we only accept Euros.
Oh, that’s OK.

And when we’re talking about a method of payment, we say by.

That’s ten euro’s please.
Oh, can I pay by credit card?
Err, no. I’m sorry.
Oh that’s OK. I can pay in cash.

So it’s by credit card, by cheque, by phone, by PayPal… But cash is a little different. You can say ‘by cash’ or ‘in cash’. And you can also skip the preposition and just say cash.

Did you pay by credit card?
No, I paid cash.
Then I’m sorry. I can’t help you.
But I just bought it this morning.

OK, I have a question for you. Imagine you’re in a pub and you’re offering to get some drinks. Would you say ‘I’ll pay for the drinks’
or ‘I’ll pay the drinks.’ Which one? It’s the first one. The second one is wrong. You can’t say that. You pay FOR something that you buy.
Great! So now you know the prepositions to use with pay! If you liked this video, share it with some friends and if you haven’t already, subscribe to our channel. See you next week!
Click here to see more vocabulary videos
Click here to download our free checklist on common mistakes

6 thoughts on “Pay – learn how we use this verb with different prepositions

  • Pingback: Pay & Prepositions – Simple English V...

  • December 2, 2016 at 6:07 pm
    Permalink

    They teach easy. Gracias

    Reply
    • December 2, 2016 at 6:25 pm
      Permalink

      Thank you I will be share you videos,because they are easy to learn.

      Reply
      • December 3, 2016 at 1:51 am
        Permalink

        That’s terrific. Thank you.

        Reply
    • April 19, 2019 at 3:27 pm
      Permalink

      Ah yes, pay out is another one. If we have to pay a large sum of money we might say pay out. e.g. ‘I had to pay out $800 to get the heating fixed’. Thanks Sara.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.