Re: Pay or Repay a Debt?

Subject: Re: Pay or Repay a Debt?
From: Geoff Lane <geoff -at- gjctech -dot- co -dot- uk>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2005 14:29:58 +0000

On Friday, December 16, 2005, Lisa Dugger wrote;

> Question:

> If you have a loan, are you repaying or paying the debt? I have heard
> both, but I don't think that repay is correct. Wouldn't that mean
> that you pay the debt twice? Or maybe I just need more caffiene and
> sugar...

You don't say where in the world you are or what dialect of English
you're writing. However, in English (as opposed to American), either
is correct. The Pocket Oxford English Dictionary gives:

repay v. (past and past part. repaid)
1 pay back (money).
2 make repayment to (a person).

pay ?v. (past and past part. paid)
1 (also absol.) give (a person etc.) what is due for services done,
goods received, debts incurred, etc. (paid him in full).
2 a give (a usu. specified amount) for work done, a debt, etc.
(they pay £6 an hour).

FWIW, I'd use "repay" in respect of a loan and "pay" in respect of an
invoice or bill.




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Pay or Repay a Debt?: From: Lisa Dugger

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