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My question relates to this: How to say "pay exact amount of money"

Now my question is from the payers point of view, not the payee.

During my latest trip I literally said to the the bartender "It's exact". I was referring to the amount of money I gave him, which equaled the amount of money the bartender asked me to pay for the drinks. My girlfriend laughed with me for my supposedly broken English.

Was the phrase "It's exact" correct in this situation?

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    I think you mean your girlfriend laughed at you. But she's obviously easily-amused, since there's nothing wrong with saying It's exact in your context. – FumbleFingers Jan 30 '18 at 16:02
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    Consider the one and only instance in Google Books of he laughed with me for, where it's actually ...for an instant (briefly), not ...for something I did. Compare that to almost 2000 instances of he laughed at me for (being foolish, whatever). – FumbleFingers Jan 30 '18 at 16:16
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    The bartenders I've dealt with would be less than pleased that no tip was included. That aside, other ways of saying it would be: It's correct or the correct amount; It's the right amount; and It should be right/correct. – Ronald Sole Jan 30 '18 at 16:40
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    Another option is to say, "I don't need change," although (at least in the US where tipping is customary) that often means, "I have given you more than you asked for but the remainder is the tip." – Canadian Yankee Jan 30 '18 at 20:41
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    I am unclear why you had to say anything. And are you sure your girlfriend was laughing at your choice of words, rather than the fact that you said what you did? Grammatically what you said was OK. – user3169 Jan 30 '18 at 23:42
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Unless it was trivially obvious that the money was exactly the amount demanded (for example if you handed over a single coin of the right denomination), it might be polite/cautious to precede your words with "I think" or "I hope".

In British English the common phrase would be something like "I think that's the right money".

"It's exact" has slightly pedantic sound to my ears.

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In this situation, if I wanted to tell the bartender that I'm giving him the exact amount of money he asked for, I would say something like:

  • I have exact change (said before I hand the money over)
  • Here's exact change (said as I hand the money over)
  • I've got exact change here
  • Here, I've got exact change for you

In practice, I wouldn't say anything, because the bartender is going to count the money that I gave him and see for himself whether it's exact change or not.

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