1

Given that "I paid the bill",
when I want to use "pay" as an noun, what should be the preposition that used with it?
"I made the payment for the bill",
"I made the payment of the bill",
"I made the payment of the food",
"I made the payment for the food".

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    You 'made the payment for' but none of those examples are comfortable to my ear, compared to the simple start point. You paid the bill, so you paid for the food. Commented Jan 4, 2015 at 16:15
  • Every month, I make a payment on my home loan. I make a payment towards eventually owning my home outright. I pay my loan. I make my mortgage payment. I make a payment for my home. As tetsujin said, I pay the bill.
    – Adam
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 20:05

1 Answer 1

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What are prepositions for?

As dictionaries put it, prepositions 'govern' elements in the clause or sentence. They mean, in simple words, "expressers of the relations".

"Payment", just as you mentioned, is the noun of the verb "pay". As far as I'm concerned, verbs are usually "in relation" to two or three noun phrases. However, verbs like "sell, buy, pay etc. are in relation to four noun phrases because of CTF. I don't want to expand it too much since it'll turn into an ELU question rather than an ELL one.

Anyway, these verbs are in relation to four noun phrases; two are people and two aren't. e.g.: For pay, we can have:

  • the payer and
  • the payee as people, but
  • the thing that's being paid (for example "money"; simply it's the medium exchange ) and
  • the "goods" that are being exchanged (like agriculture), or we can say, the cause of the payment as "stuff".

Now that the "clarification" act has taken place, we can set the prepositions.

  1. People
    The payer: A payment by John
    The payee: A payment to Mrs. Anderson
  2. stuff (As you know, "pay" is transitive)
    The medium exchange: A payment of 300 dollars
    The "cause" of the payment: A payment for the food.

Use these together, and it would be something like this:

A payment of 300 dollars by John to Mrs. Anderson for the food.

Oh, You might want to take a look at this.

Hope I've helped. :)

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    Note that the final statement given (A payment of 300 dollars by John to Mrs. Anderson for the food) has no verb and is not a sentence. It is a fine phrase and could be used in natural-sounding sentences: A payment of 300 dollars was made by John to Mrs. Anderson for the food. We processed a payment of 300 dollars by John to Mrs. Anderson for the food.
    – Adam
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 20:08
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    @Adam, true. Actually I didn't want any "disturbances" in the phrase so it didn't turn into a sentence.
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Jan 7, 2015 at 12:56

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