I had a hard time figuring out the meaning of owe, due, and debt (all verbs) to find out all refer to the fact of owing money to someone who has lent, for example, money. So, the borrower who owes the money is in debt and should pay back the monetary value that is due to the lender. I am amazed why all of these words concern the party that is to give back the debt. I could not find verb thereby I can say, for example, I [VERB_IN_QUESTION=am to receive] money from you, Or Please give back my [MONEY_I_AM_TO_RECEIVE_FROM_YOU] (as opposed to debt).
I hope I was successful in explaining what I mean. If more clarification seems necessary, please let me know.

  • 1
    If you owe me money, you are endebted to me, I am owed money from you, though I would phrase it as You owe me money. The second sentence would be Please give (or pay) me back my money/object borrowed. This is a good question because debt quite often has emotion attached to it so people feel uncomfortable coming out and directly saying things about it. Hence the interesting phrasing here and perhaps the lack of an exact term that doesn't sound cold. – Michael Dorgan Jun 10 '15 at 0:17
  • Someone you owe money credits your account for the amount of payments you give them, or for any other reason they wish. – user6951 Jun 10 '15 at 2:36
  • Did you really find due defined as a verb? The sources I've consulted show it only as noun, adjective and adverb. – Brian Hitchcock Jun 10 '15 at 9:38
  • @Michael Dorgan: Most online dictionaries describe endebted as an "obsolete form of indebted. – Brian Hitchcock Jun 10 '15 at 9:56
  • @BrianHitchcock no I didn't mean due is a verb. My emphasis was on it being used on the indebted side. – codezombie Jun 10 '15 at 13:40

Generally, it is probably more common to express the issue from the borrower's perspective.

Due is actually quite useful for what you want though. If the money is due to him, then he is due the money. Similarly, someone's due is that which they are due. Technically, it can refer to anything which one has earned, but it is probably the best way to describe someone's right of ownership over something.

Personally, I would use "I expect money from you." and "Please give back the money you owe (to me)." though the first does rely a little on context.

However, "I am due money from you" and "Please (pay me/give back) my due." are perfectly reasonable and I would expect them to be understood as the expressions you were aiming for in your examples.


If you are talking about the entire amount of the debt, from the lender's point of view that is the balance. if it is only the amount expected periodically (e.g.monthly), it is the payment .

  • Please pay the balance.

  • Please {pay/make} {the/your} payment.

  • Your next payment is due on July 12.

Note also that for most loans, each payment is made up partly of principal and partly of interest. The principal is the original balance; i.e. the amount borrowed. If regular payments are made, the balance declines as the principal is repaid. But if not, the balance can increase, possibly exceeding the principal.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.