pay for college tuition or pay college tuition

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amby

Banned
chinese
My teacher explained to me that I should use pay when all I can get is a receipt while pay for can be used when I can get something tangible. Then, when i want to talk about my tution, which one is correct?

My mother will pay my college tuition/or education. or
My mother will pay for my college tuition/or education.

I think the first one is correct according to my teacher, but I often see pay for college tution on Google.
 
  • Tazzler

    Senior Member
    American English
    "My mom will pay my tuition" and "my mom will pay for my education" are the best. But "pay for tuition" is correct in the right context.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Your teacher is incorrect.

    You pay tuition, but you pay for an education.

    And,

    You pay your rent, for example, but you pay for a hotel room.

    There's no easy rule that I know of. Sometimes you just have to learn things.

    You might see this previous thread: pay for the bill?
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    You pay an amount of money: for example, college tuition.

    You pay for something you get in return: for example, an education.

    (There is an archaic meaning of "tuition" that is more or less synonymous with "education." It's little used today. Today, at least in AE, "tuition" refers only to the cost.)

    Thus, you cannot pay for the price of a clock. You can pay the price of a clock, or you can pay for the clock.

    Finally, you can find anything on the Web. Much of the content of the Web was not written by native speakers of English. Even if it was written by one, native speakers can be careless or uneducated. Finding something with a Google search does not mean that it's correct.
     

    grubble

    Senior Member
    British English
    My teacher explained to me that I should use pay when all I can get is a receipt while pay for can be used when I can get something tangible. Then, when i want to talk about my tution, which one is correct?

    My mother will pay my college tuition/or education. or
    My mother will pay for my college tuition/or education.

    I think the first one is correct according to my teacher, but I often see pay for college tution on Google.
    In British English you cannot pay tuition. Tuition is an abstract noun.


    My mother will pay my college tuition fees.

    My mother will pay for my college tuition.
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    ...Today, at least in AE, "tuition" refers only to the cost...
    In British English you cannot pay tuition...
    What we have here is another BE-AE difference.

    The WR dictionary, which is British, defines tuition as "teaching or instruction." It then adds that, in North American usage, it means "a fee charged for this."

    Thus, in BE, one could pay for tuition, since tuition is what one receives (teaching), but in AE, one could not, since tuition is the cost of what one receives (which is again teaching).

    I have a great deal of sympathy for someone trying to learn something called "English" when that name can refer to so many similar, but not identical, languages!
     
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