支払う vs 5 means of 払う: What’s the difference?
What is the difference between “支払う” and ”払う”? First of all, they sound the same meaning, however, the way to use them is absolutely different from each other. When it comes to only money, they are almost the same. So, let me introduce what the difference between “支払う” and “払う” are today!
支払う(sihararu) [verb] / 支払い(siharai) [noun]
Pay money / Check or Payment
The most important things that you have to figure out what the meaning of “支払う” and “払う” are. “支払う” is used as the meaning of paying money and “払う” has a lot of meanings including the meaning of paying money as well. “支払い” such as fees, tuitions, rents, taxes, fines and so on which are related to only money as a noun. Although “支払う” and “払う” mean “Pay money” and they are used in daily conversatoin, using “支払う” is a little bit formal than using “払う”. So, When writing official documents or in public, rather you might want to use “支払う” instead of “払う”.
Brush a dirt off
As I said earlier, “払う” has a lot of meanings and “埃を払う” is one of the meanings of “払う”. In this case, “払う” does not mean to pay money. “埃を払う” means “brush a dirt off”. This meaning is not only used for “埃(a dirt)”, but “虫(an insect)”, “髪(hair)” etc which are tiny things can be also used. That is not used for things which are much bigger such as ”缶(can)”, “ペットボトル(plastic bottle)” that means “缶を払う” and “ペットボトルを払う” are wrong. In this case, “缶を取る(take cans away)” and “ペットボトル取る(take the plastic bottle away)” are correct.
The second meaning of “払う” is “注意を払う” that means “to pay attention”. I’d say which is pretty understandable because “pay” is used in English as well. In this case, “払う(pay)” does not mean “to pay money” as well as the Japanese usage.
The third meaning of “払う” is “敬意を払う” that means “to pay homage”. I’d say which is pretty understandable as well because “pay” is used in English as well as “注意を払う”. In this case, “払う(pay)” does not mean “to pay money” as well as the Japanese usage. The way to use it is for elder people, parents, boss, president, historical persons and so on who you respect.
Pay the price
The fourth meaning of “払う” is “代償を払う” that means “to pay the price”. I’d say which is pretty understandable as well because “to pay” is used in English. In this case, “払う(pay)” does not mean “to pay money” as well as the Japanese usage. The way to use is that after doing something wrong, you might pay money, work harder or something such as pretty bad things for you.
The final meaning of “払う” is “お金を払う” that means “to pay money” which is the same meaning of “支払う”, however, what is the difference between them? The answer I wrote it down above is “支払う” sounds a little formal than “払う”. So, when Japanese go to the quite high end shops and buy or eat something which are expensive, they quite often use “支払います。” instead of “払います。” and when they eat something at the ordinal stores, they often use “払います。”. But that does not mean “払う” is rude. “支払う” sounds pretty polite and “払う” sounds normal. Again using “払う” is not rude.