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Is it correct to say 'how much do we pay' when asking for a bill in the restaurant? Does it sound ok?

closed as off-topic by Andrew, shin, Michael Rybkin, David Richerby, ColleenV Jun 5 '18 at 17:43

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  • Can you explain why you are concerned about this phrase. For example has someone told you that it is wrong? – James K Jun 5 '18 at 8:14
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'How much do we pay?'

is definitely grammatically correct, and entirely understandable.


But it's not terribly idiomatic, that is to say, it's not a phrasing that a native speaker would use.

More natural phrasings would be:

'How much do we owe?'

'What is the total?'

'How much did that cost?'

But in the very specific context of paying at the end of a sit-down meal, a native speaker would overwhelmingly ask:

'Can I get the bill, please?'

or

'Can we have the bill?'

or even just

'Bill, please?'

(In the US, I believe check is used instead of bill?)

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'how much do we pay'

Is grammatically correct, but not what you would normally say. You would normally say something like (UK English)

May I have the bill please?

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That's absolutely fine! Because you are talking about money and in this context, it's not countable. Uncountable nouns with no definite quantity take much opposite to many.

How much do we pay for this?

On the other hand, if the concern is not money but precisely dollars, then you ask...

How many dollars do we pay for this?

  • I agree that the latter is grammatically sound, but I think it's almost inconceivable that a native speaker would use that phrasing, except is the most contrived of circumstances. – Brondahl Jun 5 '18 at 9:21
  • If you want to pay for a meal the usual request is: May I/we have the bill? Or: *Would you bring the bill? You might ask *How much do we pay or How much would be pay? when you are seeking the price of a service. If it's just an item, you would ask: What's the price? or *What (how much) does it cost?) This has to do with idiom rather than grammar. – Ronald Sole Jun 5 '18 at 10:30

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