I refuse to be treated tonight; let's ( ________ ).

a. ante up

b. split the money

c. go dutch

d. up the snakes

e. divide out

I can't figure out what to choose between "split the money" and "go dutch". Don't they mean the same thing? Like not one person is paying all the costs for the meal, but people who ate are all pitching in? What is the difference between them? What is the correct answer to this question?

(Also, I interpreted "I refuse to be treated tonight" here as meaning "the speaker does not want to be treated, that is, she is not going to let people pay for the meal for her," have I understood it right?)

Thanks in advance!

2 Answers 2


Sometimes there can be more than one correct or grammatical answer, so candidates have to choose the best answer, which is (c). It is the most appropriate response in a restaurant or bar situation.

"Going Dutch" (sometimes written with lower-case dutch) is a term that indicates that each person participating in a paid activity covers their own expenses, rather than any one person in the group defraying the cost for the entire group. Wikipedia

(b) Let's split the money would be used in those situations where there is enough money (cash) to be shared.

Let's split the cost or “bill” would mean the same as “going dutch”

  • 1
    I get the impression that split the bill is slowly overtaking go dutch as the usual phrase but I have no solid evidence either way.
    – mdewey
    Commented Oct 25, 2020 at 14:55
  • @mdewey I think "going dutch" is primarily used in the context of a date. "split the bill" would be used in other situations, such as a group dinner.
    – Barmar
    Commented Oct 25, 2020 at 20:12
  • Mari-Lou, isn't going dutch used for paying for something - outgoing and split the money is used for incoming money?
    – 7caifyi
    Commented Oct 25, 2020 at 20:50
  • @Christopher Well you said it better, I was thinking of a situation where two (or more) servers split the day's tips between themselves. I'm sure there are better, more everyday scenarios but that is the one that sprang to my mind
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Oct 25, 2020 at 20:54
  • 1
    I.e. "split the money" carries a connotation that some income or cash will be split, not expenses in which case the usual wording would be as the options mentioned in this answer, not "split the money".
    – Peteris
    Commented Oct 25, 2020 at 23:21

"Splitting the bill" means you order as a group, all the food is for everyone, and everyone pays an equal amount. This is often done with things no one person would eat by themselves: pitchers of soda or beer, a big plate of cheesy nachos, a dozen spicy mushrooms or egg rolls ... . If you don't have group food, it doesn't make sense to say "split the bill".

You are correct that "I refuse to be treated tonight" means she has not been paying. It's likely she's been going on night-time dates with someone. "Going Dutch" almost always means "a date where we each pay for ourselves". It's very idiomatic.

There's one other case. If you were all going to pay for your own food, but you got one big combined bill by mistake you might ask "could you split the bill? (into a bill for each person)". But that wouldn't apply here at all.

  • While "Dutch" can be capitalized or not, "bill" should not be capitalized, as "Bill" is a name that is used as a shortened form of "William", so "splitting the Bill" suggests cannibalism. Commented Oct 25, 2020 at 22:13
  • @Acccumulation I'd put it in italics, except every time I've done that someone puts in in bold or Quotes or in some other style. And whenever I copy that someone else puts it back in italics. But sure... Commented Oct 25, 2020 at 23:01
  • 1
    It's worth pointing out that the option written in the OP is not "split the bill", the question is focused on the difference in meaning between "going dutch" and "split the money"
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Oct 26, 2020 at 7:01
  • I think that "splitting the bill" can also mean that everyone pays for the meal they ordered. It doesn't necessarily imply an even split where everyone pays the same. Commented Jun 29, 2023 at 16:08

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