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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Urdu
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      • Pakistan
      • Current Location:
      • Pakistan

    • Join Date: Mar 2016
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    #1

    Did you pay him money/the money

    Do we need to put the definite article "the" when we talk about cash payments?

    Did you pay him the money?
    Did you pay him money?


    Now, there are two things going on in my mind.

    First, both the questions may be grammatically correct but have different meanings.

    If I ask somebody
    Did you pay him the money?

    I am probably asking him about the money I gave him to pay to a certain person. Or may be he borrowed that money from someone in front of me to be able to make his payment to a certain person.

    And if I ask somebody
    Did you pay him money?

    I don't know the source of money (where that money came from), he just owed some money to someone and he was supposed to pay it to him.

    Secondly, I might be wrong in my assumption. And one of the sentences might be grammatically correct.

    You are the native speakers so your expert advice is the most valuable for me.

    Regards
    Aamir the Global Citizen

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
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    #2

    Re: Did you pay him money/the money

    If I said "Did you pay him the money?" I would probably mean "Did you pay him the money [I know] you owe him?" (We've been talking about this debt and I know you've been worried about it and that you're looking forward to paying off your debt.

    I can't imagine saying "Did you pay him money?"

    If someone did something that was supposed to be at no charge (fix a part that broke while under warranty, for example) and I see my husband give him some cash, I might say "Hey, you weren't supposed to have to pay him. Did you just pay him?" - I wouldn't say "pay him money." (My husband would say "I just tipped the guy five bucks - he was on time and polite and seemed like a nice kid.")
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

    • Member Info
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      • United States
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      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2015
    • Posts: 9,267
    #3

    Re: Did you pay him money/the money

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I can't imagine saying "Did you pay him money?"
    I might say "Did you pay him money for that?" if someone I knew had acquired something which I thought was worthless. It could be quite an insulting question, though, as it questions my friend's judgment.
    I am not a teacher.

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