Share this entry
American English: /peɪ/
British English: /peɪ/

Translation of pay in Spanish:

transitive verb past tense & past participle paid

  • 1 1.1
    abonar [formal]
    I paid the amount in full
    pagué el importe en su totalidad
    aboné el importe en su totalidad [formal]
    this account pays 8% interest
    esta cuenta da or produce un interés del 8%
    to pay something for something/to + infinitivehow much did you pay for the painting?
    ¿cuánto te costó el cuadro?
    ¿cuánto pagaste por el cuadro?
    I paid a fortune to have it cleaned
    me costó un dineral hacerlo limpiar
    me cobraron un dineral por limpiarlo
    to pay something into somethingthey pay my salary directly into the bank
    me depositan el sueldo directamente en el banco
    me ingresan el sueldo directamente en el banco (esp Spain)
    Example sentences
    • The booty enabled him to clear his debts and pay large sums into the treasury, all without incurring a risk of prosecution.
    • The city is booming, it is a beautiful place to live, and those who can afford it are willing to pay the price to settle here.
    • They are forced to take in three roomers who pay money in exchange for room and board.
    Example sentences
    • The crew members were only released 10 days later after an unspecified amount of ransom was paid.
    • But on the face of it there was a seamless transfer with rents being paid by the same system and services unaffected.
    • Even if you pay your tax bill on time, you are still liable to pay a surcharge for late filing.
    pagarle a
    they still haven't paid the builders
    todavía no les han pagado a los albañiles
    you'll have to wait until I get paid
    vas a tener que esperar hasta que cobre or me paguen
    we're paid by the hour
    nos pagan por horas
    I wouldn't eat in that restaurant if you paid me
    yo no comería en ese restaurante ni aunque me pagasen
    to pay somebody for something
    pagarle algo a alguien
    when are you going to pay me for the tickets?
    ¿cuándo me vas a pagar las entradas?
    I paid him £20 for the table
    le di 20 libras por la mesa
    he was handsomely paid for his services
    fue generosamente retribuido por sus servicios
    to pay one's wayhe paid his way through college
    se pagó or se costeó él mismo los estudios
    I've never lived off him, I've always paid my own way
    nunca he vivido a costa de él, siempre he pagado lo que me correspondía
    Example sentences
    • I rubbed her arm and told her not to worry, that these people were paid for this kind of thing.
    • Yes, there is hard work to be done, but that is what the minister and his officials are paid for and that is what they must do.
    • The chief executive was dismissed and staff were not paid for six months.
  • 2
    to pay somebody a visit or call
    hacerle una visita a alguien
    I must pay a visit or a call before we leave (British) [colloquial] [euphemistic]
    tengo que pasar al baño antes de irnos
    compliment 1 1 heed homage etc
    Example sentences
    • They don't consider things like paying attention to their pet, or walking him, giving him exercise, etc.
    • Indeed, they were, and so intently that they paid no attention to me in the car next to them.
    • Babs suffers a nervous breakdown when she realizes no one is paying attention to her.

intransitive verb past tense & past participle paid

  • 1 (with money) 1.1
    she paid in advance
    pagó por adelantado
    under-16s don't have to pay
    los menores de 16 años no pagan
    to pay for something
    pagar algo
    that won't even pay for the food
    eso no da ni para la comida
    to pay for somebody (to + infinitive)I'll pay for Matthew
    yo pago lo de Matthew
    I'll pay for you to go to Paris
    yo te pago el viaje a París
    they'll pay for you to stay in a top hotel
    te pagarán la estadía en un hotel de lujo
    te pagarán la estancia en un hotel de lujo (Spain)
    Example sentences
    • Ultimately, the manager is confident his investments will pay handsome dividends.
    • Bar work pays a modest wage, so it's fortunate that Oceana helps by providing a subsidised cab service for its staff.
    • Issued by financially strong firms, these investments are paying an average yield of a little under 4.5% after tax.
    this type of work usually pays by the hour
    este tipo de trabajo normalmente se paga por horas
    teaching doesn't pay very well
    la enseñanza no está muy bien pagada or remunerada
    Example sentences
    • That's because agriculture does not pay, both for the producer and for government.
    • Learning pays in all sorts of ways - it can be the first step to a job or better job and to making new friends.
    • Your education pays when you get married, she philosophises.
  • 2 (suffer)to pay for something
    pagar algo
    she paid dearly for her negligence
    pagó muy cara su negligencia
    he paid for his mistake with his life
    el error le costó la vida
    I'll make you pay
    me las pagarás
    there'll be hell or the devil to pay
    se va a armar la de San Quintín
    Example sentences
    • Presumably he shouldn't be put in a situation where he might have to pay with his life.
    • If we carry on for much longer in this uninspiring vein, he may pay with his head.
    • They are the ones who speak out, resist, and pay with their liberty or their lives.
  • 3
    also: paying present participle
    the paying public
    el público
    paying guest
    huésped (masculine or feminine) (que paga el alojamiento)
    it's not a paying proposition
    no es una propuesta rentable

impersonal verb past tense & past participle paid

  • it pays to read the instructions
    conviene leer las instrucciones
    it pays to be polite to people
    merece la pena ser amable con la gente
    it would pay her to learn a foreign language
    le convendría aprender un idioma


Phrasal verbs

pay back

verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object
1 (repay)
reintegrar [formal]
regresar (Latin America excluding Southern Cone)
when are they going to pay us back?
¿cuándo nos van a devolver el dinero?
¿cuándo nos van a regresar el dinero? (Latin America excluding Southern Cone)
to pay somebody back for somethingI must pay her back for the meal
tengo que devolverle el dinero de la comida
tengo que regresarle el dinero de la comida (Latin America excluding Southern Cone)
how can I pay you back for your kindness/this favor?
¿cómo puedo retribuir tu amabilidad/pagarte este favor?
2 (take revenge on) I'll pay you back (one day)!
¡ya me las vas a pagar!
¡ya me las cobraré or me vengaré!

pay in

1verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object (British) 2verb + adverb (British)
hacer un depósito
hacer un ingreso (Spain)
hacer una consignación (Colombia)

pay off

1verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object 1.1 (settle, repay)
pagarle a
1.2 (discharge from service)
liquidarle el sueldo ( or jornal etc. ) a (al despedirlo)
1.3 (bribe) [colloquial] (blackmailer)
untarle la mano a [colloquial]
coimear (Southern Cone) [colloquial]
darle una mordida a (Mexico) [colloquial]
2verb + adverb 2.1 (prove worthwhile)
(caution/effort/hard work)
valer or merecer la pena
tener su compensación
2.2 (in gambling)
(slot machine/bookmaker) (US)

pay out

1verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object 1.1 (distribute)
(dividend/compensation/prize money)
1.2 (spend) [colloquial]
aflojar [colloquial]
I had to pay out a lot of money to fly to Europe
me gasté un dineral en el vuelo a Europa
2verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object (release gradually)
ir soltando
3verb + adverb 3.1
(insurance company)
pagar (una indemnización etc)
3.2 (spend) [colloquial]to pay out (for/on something) I'm tired of paying out for his clothes/on car repairs
estoy harta de tener que gastar en comprarle ropa/en arreglar el coche
3.3 (in gambling)
(slot machine/bookmaker) (British)

pay up

1verb + adverb in the end the company paid up
al final la empresa le pagó lo que le debía ( or la indemnizó etc. )
2verb + adverb + object (subscription/annual fee)
abonar [formal]
to pay up one's arrears
ponerse al día en los pagos
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.