Hanji
The meaning of paying off. The company invented a machine. It cost $100, 000 for that. They sold the first one for $10,000. If they sell nine machines, they can pay off the first cost and they will make profit if they sell more. "pay off" ? Is it correct? "cover the first cost"?
Jun 12, 2019 10:00 AM
Answers · 7
'pay off' is correct. Usually you say, 'cover the initial cost', rather than say 'cover the first cost'. In your text, you should say, 'if they sell 9 machines MORE', otherwise it's a little unclear.
June 12, 2019
Yes, it is correct. Here “pay off” is the same thing as “cover the first cost”. Both can be used interchangeably.
June 12, 2019
:)
June 12, 2019
Thank you very much for your detailed explanation. I understand well. I felt something weird to use the word, pay off, so I asked and you made it clear for me. Interestingly you sounded like you were my good supervisor at work. :) I appreciate your advice, Michael.
June 12, 2019
"Pay off" is a common usage in this kind of context, though in my opinion it's not really accurate. In this usage, "pay off" means to repay loans in full. Here, we don't know whether loan finance was used, or whether the company used its own working capital or other sources of finance to pay for the costs of the invention. What's worse, we're pretty sure that the invention has phyical form - it's not downloadable software, it a machine. So there are costs involved in the manufacture, sale and delivery of the machine. So "profit" does not arise after 10 machines have been sold. It's likely that production and distribution costs will represent a significant proportion of the sale price. So It would be more accurate to write something like : "The company invented a machine. It cost $100,000 for that. They sold the first one for $10,000. If they sell nine more machines at that price, they will have covered (or "recovered", if you prefer) their development costs, and will be well on the way to making a profit. " Have a look at definition 2 at https://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/pay-off Or have a look at https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/debt
June 12, 2019
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