Collocations With The Word Pay

Collocations are words that usually go together in English.

Here we are going to look at words that go with 'pay' to make useful and popular expressions you will hear in social and professional contexts.


When you 'pay someone back', it can mean to return a favour. When you experience 'payback', you get something in return. This can mean either a positive or negative outcome.


  • Could you work on Saturday for me? I'll pay you back next weekend.
  • Can I borrow a hundred dollars? I'll pay you back at the end of the month.
  • The payback from reorganising the management structure should be better leadership in all departments. Positive return.
  • The man was attacked on the street as payback for the offensive words he used on TV. Negative return.

Pay a visit to

When you go to the place someone lives or works, or where you know they are, you 'pay them a visit'.


  • Stephen is in hospital. We should pay him a visit and see how he is.
  • I am hoping to pay my family a visit while I'm in California. I haven't seen them for ages!

Pay the price

When you 'pay the price' it means to experience the repercussions of bad decisions. It's similar to 'payback'.


  • If you have an unhealthy lifestyle, you will pay the price in your later years.
  • If you don't buy a ticket for the metro, you will pay the price when you get caught. Fines can be up to €200.

Pay by credit card/Pay in cash

When you are buying something in a shop or supermarket, you will often hear the cashier ask, "Would you like to pay in cash or by credit card?" You can say, "Would you like to pay by cash?"but not in credit card. Only "by credit card" is correct.


Q: How would you like to pay?

A: I'd like to pay €30 in cash, and the rest by credit card.

Pay interest on

When you take out a loan from the bank, you will have to pay interest on your loan.


  • Can you tell me how much interest I would pay on a loan of €10,000 over 5 years?
  • If you borrow €15000, you will only have to pay interest on the first €5,000.

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