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  5. "Er bezahlt die Zeitung."

"Er bezahlt die Zeitung."

Translation:He pays for the newspaper.

February 22, 2018



Should "He buys the newspaper" be incorrect?

  • 2332

Er kauft die Zeitung = He buys (is buying) the newspaper. Er bezahlt is he pays/is paying [for].

I hope that helps. :0)


Yes, "He pays for the newspaper that's delivered to his neighbour's house." Whereas, "He buys the newspaper at the shop and reads it on the bus to work."

Or, "My mother pays for my swimming lessons and I buy candy with the money I save."



My mother buys my swimming lessons and i pay for candy with the money i save.

I'm English, at least the kind i speak, to buy and to pay for mean exactly the same thing. As does to purchase. It does not imply you are purchasing for yourself. That is what the phrase "buy for myself" is for. To buy is to pay for, to purchase is to buy. It means the exact same thing in English, and should be accepted.

The newspaper example is better, as in that sentence the shades of grey in difference between meanings does provide clarity on whom is receiving the money and newspaper, but this is an edge case, and it would be more common to say that "He buys the newspaper for his neighbor."


'To buy' & 'to pay for' do not mean exactly the same thing. You can pay for things that you do not buy or purchase. You can pay for your own or others' mistakes, but not buy them. 'You'll pay for that!'

More generally, buying means obtaining ownership or possession of something, whereas paying for does not necessarily entail transfer of ownership or possession.


Or someone could be telling someone that he pays for the newspaper.


maybe, but i think that it is correct, but, should he is buying a newspaper be correct?


That's what I was wondering.


I think buys implies that you are directly getting an object for money. When you pay (for) the newspaper you pay to a company, that then brings you newspapers each week..


There is no difference in meaning in English between "to pay for" and "to buy" and "to purchase", except in weird edge cases caused by some forced and very strange phrasing where the change in words still do not alter meaning but do alter some related implications. They are as different as "red" and "crimson". Perhaps once upon a time there was more of a gap in meaning, but I'm modern (at least modern American) usage there is zero actual difference. They are synonyms. They all mean "to provide money in exchange for goods or services" they might be different in German, but they aren't different in English.


There is definitely a difference in meaning and usage between 'pay' and 'buy' in English. There are plenty of instances where swapping the words would be nonsensical too.

«I paid $4 for that» vs «I bought that for $4»
«I'll pay you back» vs «I'll buy you back» ??
«I got paid this week» vs «I got bought this week» (yikes)

There's also a very clear difference in;
«I'll pay for it later» vs «I'll buy it later»
«I want to buy a new phone» vs «I want to pay for a new phone» lol

They adhere to different rules so you can't just say they're the same and use them interchangeably. I imagine the same applies in some way to German, which is why they're making the distinction.


There is a clear difference bewteen pay and buy. You can pay for something without buying it. "I paid for Carla's lawyer". "I paid the rent".


Bought and paid for • Free and Clear • Financing • Sign and Drive • Prepayment, Delayed, deferred payment, installment plan. The subscription business model, credit, debit, insurance, guarantee, lending, warranty, financial service and etc. industries thrive on purchase transactions in which payment for a purchase is not simple a one-for-one-and-done affair. Instead, payment for a purchase may extend over the life span of ownership, or longer: Transaction fees, fractional ownership, percentage premiums, compounded interest, warranty extension, mortgage, points, credit rating, deferred compensation, ...


Buys was indeed incorrect. Correctly so, I might add.


Why doesn't it have 'for' in it


Because bezahlen includes the "for" -- it means "to pay for".

(Reading on, looks like there was a problem with the English, now fixed. Whoops.)


He pays the newspaper makes no sense

[deactivated user]

    It depends on the context. He might pay the newspaper (or more pedantically, the newspaper company) for placing an advert, or for a copy of a photo that appeared in the paper. Anyway, Duolingo accepts "He pays the paper" as correct.


    He pays the paper. And its ad revenue doubles.


    I think they forgot "the newspaper company"


    Er sounds like 'ear' =Ihr


    "Er" sounds like "air", while "Ihr" sounds like "ear".


    Trips me up once in a while also


    "Er" doesn't sound like "air"? Well not with any accent I know


    They're extremely similar in pronunciation.


    All Hoch-Deutsch including the lady who reads them out, all say it like "air"

    The man who reads it out, maybe not.


    You do realise that "air" and "ear" are homophones right?

    [deactivated user]

      No they aren't. "Air" rhymes with "bear", but "ear" rhymes with "beer".


      I'm trying to imagine a native English accent in which that would be true, but can't find it. Where did you learn your English?


      What is the difference between Bezahlen and zahlen?


      Taken from: https://german.stackexchange.com/questions/7097/when-to-use-bezahlen-and-when-zahlen

      " In many cases, zahlen and bezahlen mean the same and may be used interchangeably:

      Sie haben die Miete noch nicht gezahlt/bezahlt. Das Museum hat zwei Millionen für das Bild gezahlt/bezahlt.

      Sometimes, there is a difference in register; otherwise, it is often a matter of personal taste when to use which. However, there are some cases where a more-or-less clear difference exists.

      You can’t use (at least not in standard language) zahlen with a person as the direct object:

      Sie macht lieber alles selbst, statt einen Handwerker zu bezahlen. Ich bezahle dich nicht dafür, daß du Löcher in die Luft guckst!

      (Exception: If the person is not the recipient of the payment, but the item that is being paid for, i.e. a slave.)

      Bezahlen may be used to indicate completion:

      Ist die Waschmaschine bezahlt? – Nein, er hat erst einmal nur hundert Euro gezahlt/bezahlt und zahlt/bezahlt nächste Woche den Rest.

      On the other hand, zahlen is more general:

      Firma X? Ja, die zahlen gut.

      (Although bezahlen isn’t impossible here.) It may also be preferred when talking about who’ll pay in the end:

      Dafür zahlt doch wieder die Allgemeinheit. Greift zu! Ich zahle. (= My treat.) "


      correct as above- Duolingo needs to change this translation-


      Duolingo needs to work on 'pays' and 'buys'.


      Duolingo's answer of "He is paying the newspaper" doesn't make any sense. You can't pay the newspaper. You can pay for a newspaper or you can buy a newspaper.


      Sure you can pay the paper. To publish something.


      Yes, i thought that too, for an advertisement. Feels like there's a missing 'for' in this phrase. Normally, you pay the shop keeper for the paper, not the paper itself. But all good, the discussion helps me learn


      So, is he paying the newspaper (for some unknown purpose), or is he paying for it? Do the two sound the same in German?


      "he pays for the newspaper" is accepted "he purchases the newspaper" is not

      how would you express "he purchases the paper" in German, and why should it be different?


      Why it sounds so much as "bezahlst" when it's speaking fast? I clearly hear the "st", but when it's speaking slowly everything is okay.


      i put "he buys the newspaper" and i got it wrong!!??

      [deactivated user]

        Just as English has different words for "buy" and "pay for", so does German. In fact, they are slightly different meanings. For instance, Max goes shopping. Amongst other things, he buys a newspaper for his neighbour. When he takes the shopping home, he gives the newspaper to his neighbour, who then pays for it.


        So "bezahlen" has the concept of paying FOR something and "kaufen" (to buy), has a slightly different meaning. When you pay, you pay FOR something, which is implied in the verb in German; when you buy, you buy something. You do something to cause an action (bezahlen) versus making an action yourself (kaufen).


        Everyone I know uses buy and pay the same way, and nobody has ever given me any strange looks or corrected me for using the wrong one. We were taught in school that they can be used the same way. You're teaching is new to me.


        "Pay" has uses other than to "buy". You might pay for your crimes (by going to jail), for example. You might pay someone back for harm done. Neither involves monetary exchange.


        As written, "er bezahlt die Zeitung," reads to me like the newspaper is the "direct object." As in, "he pays the newspaper," as if the newspaper were an entity that can receive money. I would have expected the article, "fuer," as in "fuer die Zeitung."


        How can I say "He pays the newspaper" instead of "He pays for the newspaper"? as if the newspaper was a magical merchant or something


        Can anyone please tell me how to say "He is paying the shopkeeper" in German and how the german sentence in the question differs from "He is paying the newspaper". Though it sounds ridiculous that someone can pay a newspaper.


        So, after all of the weirdness, is the conclusion that "he pays the newspaper, " and "he pays for the newspaper, "can be translated into a single German sentence with two very different meanings?


        I thought this translated literally as "he pays the newspaper".. are both said the same way?


        There is a definite pronunciation problem! both her Ihr and Er sound the same! I always have to guess and 50% of the time I get it wrong!


        The woman says 'er' as 'EER', and I thought it said 'ihr'. Is this just a mistake in the audio?


        why not "he pay the newspaper" ?

        [deactivated user]

          Because in English, it would be "He pays", and not "He pay".


          Why is 'paid for' wrong??

          [deactivated user]

            Because "paid for" is past tense, and "bezahlt" present. It should be "pays for", or possibly, "is paying for".


            But the duo English translation says "he pays for the newspaper." I put "he's paying for the newspaper" and got it wrong. Duo has never specified between present and past tense before. And i can't imagine that they would use a fragmented sentence either.


            Both of those sentences are present tense. English has two - simple present (pays) and present progressive (is paying). German has only the one, and, in principle, either English version should be a correct translation. If the rest of your sentence was correct, it should have been accepted.

            I have no idea what you are referring to, regarding the "fragmented sentence".
            1. The sentence is complete, having a subject and a verb.
            2. There is no pedagogical reason to avoid sentence fragments. They are a part of normal communication.


            I put he's paying for the newspaper, and got it wrong. Duo has never specified between past and present tense before, and i can't imagine they would use a fragmented sentence.


            I wish these new verbs were written in tips.


            Why pays?
            Its one time payment or more?


            Subject-verb agreement requires either
            "He pays" or
            "He is paying."

            It has nothing to do with how many times he pays the newspaper.


            Ich bezahle nicht das Duolingo,es ist gratis.


            he is buying the newspaper should be allowed also, nobody says "he pays for the newspaper in England"


            Buys or pays for. Aren't they the same thing?


            Well, there is a difference. You can pay for something on behalf of someone else - "I happen to know that gentleman just lost his job. I would like to pay for his meal." Or, "I'm sorry my child spilled her drink on your counter. I will pay for the ruined newspapers." You could also pay for your crimes by doing time in prison.

            There is a German word for "to buy" - kaufen.


            buys is the same meaning as pays for - surely?


            Perhaps you might consult some of the other discussion on this page.


            @ johnkingdo

            No, it isn't really. It is perfectly possible to pay for something without buying something. Also, at least in the US, services like the plumber, repairs .... are "payed for", not bought.

            Then there are also uses like "you will pay for that mistake" (fortunately not on Duo). That would make no sense at all if you substituted "buy"


            @ johnkingdo

            No, it isn't really. It is perfectly possible to pay for something without buying something. Also, at least in the US, services like the plumber, repairs .... are "payed for", not bought.

            Then there are also uses like "you will pay for that mistake" (fortunately not on Duo). That would make no sense at all if you substituted "buy"


            @ johnkingdo

            No, it isn't really. It is perfectly possible to pay for something without buying something. Also, at least in the US, services like the plumber, repairs .... are "payed for", not bought.

            Then there are also uses like "you will pay for that mistake" (fortunately not on Duo). That would make no sense at all if you substituted "buy"


            Shouldn't it be "er bezahlt für die Zeitung." or is the für unnecessary, or perhaps does changes the meaning all together?


            "You used the wrong word. He pays the newspaper."

            What? That doesn't make any sense. I'm imagining someone placing money on a newspaper and just leaving it there.

            [deactivated user]

              Are you saying that the English sentence, "He pays the newspaper", doesn't make sense? Surely it does. If "he" wants to place an advert in the paper, or purchase a copy of a photo that has appeared in the paper, then we could quite rightly say in English, "He pays the paper". That would not be understood to mean giving money to the actual paper, but to the publishers.


              They(Duolingo) said it is: "He pays the newspaper."

              As a native english speaker I have never heard of anyone ever paying a newspaper, there should be a "for" somewhere in the English answer


              DavidLamb3 has:

              "Are you saying that the English sentence, "He pays the newspaper", doesn't make sense? Surely it does. If "he" wants to place an advert in the paper, or purchase a copy of a photo that has appeared in the paper, then we could quite rightly say in English, "He pays the paper". That would not be understood to mean giving money to the actual paper, but to the publishers."

              [deactivated user]

                Did you send you message before finishing it? All you have done is to quote my message. Perhaps you meant to explain why you agree or disagree with it.


                Nobody would usually say that in English, though.


                Why not? Here are some examples, in English: 1) He pays the paper, to publish an ad. (Mr. Lamb's example) 2) He pays the paper, to NOT publish the McDougal story 3) He pays the paper, to publish inflated crowd size estimates.

                I can keep going................

                [deactivated user]

                  So how would you say that you paid for an advert? Would you say something like "I paid the newspaper publisher"? But really this is all beside the point, because (at least as I understand it) the German sentence cannot mean that, but only paying for the paper.


                  David, "Er bezahlt die Zeitung" can mean either "He pays for the paper" or "He pays the paper." Duo is right to accept both.

                  Context decides which of the two English sentences was meant by the one German sentence. Both the English sentences are grammatically correct and make sense. Statistically a lot more people pay for a paper than pay a paper. That doesn't make paying a paper incorrect or nonsensical.


                  Hallo case02, guten Tag! Please forgive my curiosity about your being a native speaker. What is your background in the English language?


                  I am a Native English speaker, and although everyone has put forth points(he pays the newspaper) that do exist (paying for ads, paying for the newspaper's assets), they aren't usually said this way, for example if you wanted to be specific on exactly what you gave the newspaper money for, you would say: "He pays the newspaper for an ad" not "He pays the newspaper" because although "he pays the newspaper" is valid English, it doesn't really describe what you're paying for, and requires a bit more brainpower to figure out because of the missing asset. My final point: Duolingo wouldn't give " he pays the newspaper" as a question on a "something-to-English" course, they might give a simpler " He pays the newspaper for an ad"


                  I was looking for a drill down into the Native speaker status, something along the lines of: I was born in X, lived in Y, used English for N years at Z level, went to W college, write professionally, study grammar formally etc


                  oh, sorry, I was Born in the United States in 2004(California) and lived there for two years I came to the south eastern coast state of North Carolina and I still live here.

                  I have no dialect(standard American English, so I never really use the word trousers)

                  I started learning English when I was born and spent 3-5 years getting to C2 level, and I have been using English at C2 level for 9 years(I am 13 years old)

                  I haven't gone to college(I am not old enough)

                  I am gifted/AP in English, meaning I can use English at a level 2-4 years ahead of my expected English level, I don't write professionally since writing isn't something I am known for.

                  I study grammar semi-formally.

                  I have 9 years experience with C2 Level English, mastering German so that I can maybe someday become a helpful Lurker or maybe even a Moderator of the EN-DE and DE-EN boards


                  Exactly, you can “pay the newspaper” as such, as it is not incorrect English grammatically but you need more information on why you are doing so, which therefore makes it a pretty redundant statement in everyday use. I certainly have never said that my entire life time of 30 years. Moreover the scenario of the questions throughout this section that Duolingo are asking have an implied scenario of buying and paying things at restaurants and shops. So you can infer that it is really meaning “to pay for a newspaper” from a shop or merchant.


                  I got 'he paid for the newspaper' incorrect.. Can't understand the difference

                  [deactivated user]

                    The verb "bezahlt " is present tense.


                    he buys or he pays. What is the difference? None.


                    'He buys' and 'he pays for' are interchangeable in English


                    Damn right buys is OK


                    What actually shows as the correct answer is; 'He pays the newspaper' and that is wrong.

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