German Problems with Pay
Germans are not only obsessed with tax-payer's money and finanical reforms but have their own problems with the English concept of "pay and payment".The word “pay” is an important key word with a high frequency but it has turned out to be a pitfall for learners of English:

1. Students often say something like “I paid the book” instead of saying “I paid for the book”. When “pay” means give money to buy something, it is followed by the preposition “for”. If you pay the book this would mean the book gets the money which of course is nonsense. But you give money to a shop assistant for a book. You can pay the phone bill which means you pay the money you owe.

2. At a restaurant instead of saying “waiter my bill/check please” students say I would like to pay. This might be a direct or literal translation from their L1.

3. Pay is often only understood as a verb. Using the noun “pay” instead of “salary” or “wages” is avoided even when speaking. You can say: The pay is good but the job is boring.

4. Interestingly the English: pay somebody a compliment, a visit, tribute to somebody or even lip service.

5. Pay mean profitable or worthwhile as in: It pays to advertise

6. The word “pay” is confused with the word “payment”. Payment is not what you earn for your living. You make a payment or payment will be effected according to terms of payment when you buy products from a supplier. Cash/quantity/trade discount can be given/granted/allowed.

There are many words in English for the money you earn or get:
1. As a core-worker whether you are a white-collar worker or a blue-collar worker you get a salary or wages. Wages are usually paid to blue collar-workers either weekly or monthly.
2. When you retire you get pension
3. If you are unemployed you might get unemployment benefits or dole money
4. You might get commission for a job you do.