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?

  • 1
    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

1 Answer 1


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).

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .