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Lesson Transcript

Hi, everybody. My name is Alisha. Welcome back to Know Your Verbs. In this lesson, we're going to talk about the verb, "pay." Let's go.
The basic definition of the verb, "pay" is to give money in exchange for goods or in exchange for services. Examples, "I got paid today." "He pays staff on the 20th of every month."
Now, let's look at the conjugations for the verb. Present, pay, pays. Past, paid. Past participle, paid. Progressive, paying.
Now, let's look at some additional meanings for this verb. First meaning, meaning number one is to give an advantage to someone or something. Let's look at some examples. "Crime doesn't pay." "It pays to have good connections." These are examples of the meaning of the verb, "pay," in terms of giving someone something good, some advantage or some benefit.
The first example sentence is negative. "Crime doesn't pay," meaning crime doesn't give you an advantage or crime doesn't give you any benefit. That's a negative example. No benefits. In the second example, I said, "it pays to have good connections." It pays to have them means it provides an advantage. It's a benefit to have good connections. We can say, "it pays to have rich family members." That would be nice. I don't know about that, anyway. "It pays to have good connections" means there's some benefit to having good connections. We can use pay to refer to advantages.
Meaning two for this verb. Meaning two is quite a broad open meaning. We can use "pay" to mean to give something but there are a few set expressions that we use when we want to mean giving something with the verb "pay." I'll introduce a couple of really common examples here. First, "Hey, pay attention. I'm talking." "We're here to pay respects to our grandfather." In these example sentences, I used two very common expressions.
First was "Pay attention." In this case, it's a command. I'm saying, "Pay attention." Hey, pay attention. I'm commanding you. It's a strong request. Saying "pay attention" means, essentially, give me your attention. Give me your focus. "Pay attention" is the expression we use for that. Hey, pay attention. I'm talking. Listen to me. Give me your focus. I'm talking. In that expression, we use "pay." Pay attention. In the second example sentence, I used the expression "Pay respects" or we also can say, "Pay our respects." Both are fine. "To pay respects" means to give your respect to another person. "I'm here to give my respect to my grandfather." We would say this at a serious ceremony, a funeral, perhaps, or some memorial ceremony, or I don't know, something that's very, very formal. "Pay your respects to the Emperor," perhaps. Super, super formal situations. We would say, "I'm here to pay my respects to someone." Usually, it's typically to a person. In this case, you are giving your respect. Also, interestingly enough, in this expression we tend to use the plural "respects." Here, "to pay my respects to someone." Not the singular "respect," but "respects." Meaning there are, perhaps, many different ways I respect that person. We use "pay respects" there, meaning give our respect.
Let's go to meaning number three for this verb. The third meaning is to suffer the consequences of something. Suffering the consequences means getting punishment, essentially. Let's look at some example. "You shall pay for your crimes against humanity," and "We drank too much last night and we're paying for it this morning." Both of these example sentences show suffering, some kind of suffering as punishment for something.
In the first one, I gave a very dramatic sentence. "You shall pay for your crimes against humanity," means you shall suffer the consequences. You shall be punished because of your crimes against humanity. "Humanity" means all people, so someone has done something very bad they are going to receive punishment. "You shall pay" sounds very formal, maybe a little old-fashioned like you might see in a scary movie or a fantasy movie, something like that. The second one, maybe a more common example for some of you, "We drank too much last night, we're paying for it this morning." The speaker is speaking "this morning." In the morning after drinking too much the night before. Meaning, we're suffering now. The punishment for drinking too much last night is happening now. We're paying for it. We're suffering in this moment. It's not a good thing. We can use "pay" to mean suffering because of something bad you did.
Let's take a look at some variations of this verb and how we can use it. First one, to pay back. To pay back. "To pay back" means to return money you owe someone. "Sorry, it took so long to pay you back." "Hey, you haven't paid me back for dinner last week." You can hear in these example sentences, we can pay someone back. We don't have to say, "I need to pay back my friend." You can actually put the person you need to give money to between "pay" and "back." "I need to pay my friend back" is okay. "I need to pay back my friend." That's also okay. You'll hear native speakers use both of those. I think, I tend to put it between "pay" and "back." I would say, "I need to pay my friend back for coffee the other day," or "sorry, I forgot to pay you back." I would probably separate the phrasal verb, in my case. "To pay someone back" means to give them money you owed them.
The second variation is "to pay off." This means to finish making payments on something. Here are some examples first. "I finally paid off my house." "When do you expect to pay off your credit card?" "To pay off something" is something you have been making payments on for a long time, not just one payment. A house is a great example. Maybe for many, many years you pay some money each month. That's called a mortgage or a loan. You pay money each month and, finally, when you finish making those payments, we say, "I've paid off that thing." "I paid off my house," or "I paid off my car," for example. To finish making payments on something. We can do the same thing for credit cards. "I pay off my credit card every month," means I finish making payments or I pay the full amount every month for my credit card. In my example sentence, "When do you expect to pay off your credit card?," means how long do you think or at what time do you think you'll finish paying all the money on your credit card? "To pay off" means to finish making payments on something.
Those are a few, perhaps, new ways of using the verb "pay" for you. If you have some other ways of using the verb "pay," or if you want to try to make an example sentence, please feel free to do so in the comment section. If you have any questions, of course, please let us know as well. Thanks very much. We'll see you again next time. Bye.
You will pay for your crimes. You shall pay for your crimes. Perfect.

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Can you make a sentence using the verb "Pay"?