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I wonder if there exists a verb that indicates covering the costs or getting a higher return. It would be either a transitive verb preceding "investment" or "cost", or simply an intransitive verb.

For instance, in this thread I see that the cost of training a model would be extremely expensive. I know big giants like Google and Facebook can afford that and can "earn back" the investment since they have large-scale deployments and massive users. But for most companies, it would be highly risky since they cannot get a net positive ROI basing on their market size.

I can use "回本" in Chinese to express that the return covers the cost(and most times implying that the return would be greater than the cost). For instance, "我回本了"(literally, I have [the verb] [the investment]), "这钱能回本吗?(literally, can this money [the verb]?)".

I know there maybe not exist such a verb, then how do you express that in a native way?

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    Do you have any example sentences? That would be helpful in finding you something appropriate.
    – AIQ
    Feb 18, 2021 at 4:14
  • @AIQ For example, "I *** the investment/cost" or "Can A *** the investment or cost?" or "Can A ***?" A stands for an entity or the investment(in the last example). Feb 18, 2021 at 4:34
  • Google Translate suggests "pay back", which seems like a pretty good choice: translate.google.com/…
    – stangdon
    Feb 18, 2021 at 16:34

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If you invest and then subsequently earn enough to pay back that investment you have reached the break-even point or you have broken even. Once you have done that any further earnings are profit (after deducting production costs).

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