We pay when we give money in exchange for something we buy, goods or services.
- I’ll be paid at the end of the month.
- How much did you pay for this beautiful suit?
- I pay my taxes every year.
- present simple: pay, pays
- present continuous: am/is/are + paying
- past: paid (past simple), paid (past participle)
- future: will pay
There are also some additional meanings:
- Something gives an advantage to someone/something
- A. Laziness doesn’t pay. It is negative because laziness doesn’t give us an advantage (or benefit)
- B. It pays to have a good heart. Having a good heart provides an advantage
- to give something like attention or respect
- A. Please pay attention to the teacher! You give attention
- B. I’m here to pay respects to my parents. You give your respect to someone
- pay for
- when you purchase/buy something, you must give money in exchange
How much would you pay for that dress?
- when you are punished for something or suffer the consequences of something you did
If I don’t start eating healthier, I’ll probably pay for it later.
You shall pay for cheating in the exam. (ON the exam – Amerian English) –suffer the consequences for cheating
I drank too much coffee and I am paying for it right now. – maybe I cannot sleep so I am suffering a consequence
- pay off
- when you finish paying a debt, (finish making the payments)
(for something expensive like a house or a car, when you do not pay the whole amount at once)
It took me less than 1 year to pay off car insurance.
I finally paid off my car!
When will she pay off her health insurance?
- When somebody bribes someone (e.g. the police)
He paid off the immigration officials and brought his family in the country.
- When an action resulted in success or profit
Studying hard paid off in the end when I finally entered to the best university.
- pay out
- it is just distributing or giving (e.g. money…)
The company has paid out my health insurance during these years.
- pay up
- when money is demanded (money you owe…)
When can you pay up the money you owe me?
- pay back
- to return (money or something else, a favour…) owed to someone
I’ll pay you back when I get my wage/salary.
You haven’t paid me back, yesterday I paid the meal for you!
I borrow you $5 if you pay me back tomorrow.
- pay in
- to give money, not the whole amount, but in installments.
I can’t afford this house, can I pay in installments?
- pay down
- the payments reduce the debt through
I am going to pay down my student loan with this money.