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Edited:

Please imagine a dealer is going to make a deal happen between two people. He needs to know what cut he would get out of this dealing.

In our language the dealer can say:

1- What's in it for me?
2- What do I get out of it?
3- What benefit/profit/gain does it have for me? 4- How am I benefited/beneficiary in this deal?

Which one of the above sentences sounds natural and which doesn't and why? I wonder if you could let me know about some more suitable alternatives if there are.

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  • Hello @Jason Bassford and thank you for the concern, but I don't know where I have mentioned such a thing? :-? Could you please make me aware about this ambiguity? Thank you in advance. :)
    – A-friend
    May 21, 2019 at 6:56
  • I see nothing ambiguous with the sentence @Jason Bassford. Could you please explain how it causes some vagueness?
    – A-friend
    May 21, 2019 at 13:42
  • If he knew what cut he would get, he would not normally ask what cut he would get. I wouldn't hold up a can of soup, that has a price tag on it, and ask the cashier how much it costs. What I'm saying is that your scenario is a little strange. Did you mean to type needs to know rather than tends to know? May 21, 2019 at 13:45
  • Actually @Jason Bassford, to me these two verbs mean so close in this sense that it doesn't make any difference for me to switch between them. So, the answer would be "yes". I meant "needs to know".
    – A-friend
    May 21, 2019 at 13:55
  • 1
    :))) @Jason Bassford I mean that in this sense (and based on my knowledge degree,) I cannot find too much difference between the outcome of my sentence including each one of these two.There is no doubt thay they are quite different words, but in this specific sentence they did not make a huge semantic difference for me! Although, I will change the words yo avoid ambiguity for native speakers. :)
    – A-friend
    May 21, 2019 at 14:44

1 Answer 1

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The first two sound natural, except for one minor error in example 2, in different settings.

What's in it for me?

You hear this often in books, TV and movies. It is idiomatic but it sounds selfish. It is what a person might say if they are in no way interested in how something benefits the other person.

What do I get out if of it.

(note correction to your quote). This also sounds pretty self-centred, although arguably it is a little softer than the previous example and perhaps acknowledges what the other person gets out of it.

Your 3rd and 4th examples seem like attempts at a more formal approach, but neither are idiomatic.

You might ask:

How do I benefit?
How do I profit from this?
How do I gain from this?

Note that asking "how do I" has a slightly different inference from "how can I". The former suggests that you understand how the business works but fail to see where any profit falls to you, whereas the latter implies that you don't understand how the business works.

A more polite way of asking the same thing may be:

Can you tell me how/where I fit into this?

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  • 1
    Additional polite alternative: "Can we discuss my fee?" May 21, 2019 at 10:06
  • And @Astralbee in the sentence How do I benefit? in spite of the other two sentences listed in your post the segment "from this" is not needed. Right?
    – A-friend
    May 21, 2019 at 10:11
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    @A-friend You could include it, but for a reason I cannot explain it sounds equally idiomatic to leave it out with "benefit".
    – Astralbee
    May 21, 2019 at 12:07

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