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Is “Paid” or “Payed” Correct?

Paid or payed?



What is the correct past tense of “pay”?

The verb pay, which describes giving money to someone for something you want to buy or for services provided, has two correct past tenses: payed and paid.



Is “I have paid” the correct phrase?

Either paid or payed can be used to refer to the past tense of pay, though ‘paid’ is the more common spelling. Regardless, both “I have paid” and “I have payed” use correct English.



Pay/paid, synonyms

  • allowance
  • compensation
  • fee
  • income
  • payment
  • profit
  • reimbursement
  • remuneration
  • reward
  • salary
  • stipend
  • wage



Verb forms of pay

presentpastfuture
simpleI payI paid (or payed)I will pay
continuousI am payingI was payingI will be paying
perfectI have paid (or payed)I had paid (or payed)I will have paid (or payed)
perfect continuousI have been payingI had been payingI will have been paying

12 verb tenses of ‘pay‘.



Pay/payed/paid, used in sentence examples

Examples: “pay”, used in sentences
You have to pay extra for a single room.

Many consumers are willing to pay more for better service.

How much did you pay for your new car?

I would gladly pay for the benefits such a tax would bring.

The revenue will be used to help pay for environmental improvements.
Examples: “paid”, used in sentences
Her parents paid for her to go to Canada.

The union paid all her legal costs.

He still hasn’t paid me the money he owes me.

Membership fees should be paid to the secretary.



Worksheet: tenses of pay

QuestionsAnswer options:
1. True or false: “Pay” is a regular verb.a. true
b. false
c. both
2. True or false: Pay looks the same in the past tense as it does in the present.a. true
b. false
3. Choose the correct tense: I paid the driver in cash.a. simple present
b. simple past
c. past perfect
d. present perfect
Choose the correct verb form to complete the sentences:
4. I pay my taxes.a. simple present
b. simple past
c. past perfect
d. present perfect
5. How much did you ____ for the tickets?a. paid
b. paying
c. pays
d. pay

Answers

  1. b
  2. b
  3. b
  4. c
  5. a
  6. d



The origin of pay

From etymonline on pay (v.):

c. 1200, paien, “to appease, pacify, satisfy, be to the liking of,” from Old French paier “to pay, pay up” (12c., Modern French payer), from Latin pacare “to please, pacify, satisfy” (in Medieval Latin especially “satisfy a creditor”), literally “make peaceful,” from pax (genitive pacis) “peace” (see peace).



Learn more about verbs

Commonly misused wordsUK English vs. US English
former vs. latterburned or burnt?
bear with vs. bare withcolor or colour?
breathe or breathfavorite vs. favourite
compliment vs. complementsmelled or smelt?
effect vs. affectgray or grey?
elude or alludefavor vs. favour
it’s or itsanalyze or analyse?

Sources

  1. Harper, Douglas. “Etymology of pay.” Online Etymology Dictionary, https://www.etymonline.com/word/pay. Accessed 1 April, 2024.


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