pay raise vs salary increase

Hi Teachers

Would you please tell me which one of the following is more common?

  • I’ve decided to give you a salary increase/raise.
  • I’ve decided to increase your salary.
  • I’ve decided to give you a pay raise.


The first one and last one should be ‘pay rise’ in the UK.
I’m not sure whether ‘raise’ would be accepted in either of those sentences in the US.

It would be normal in the US to say these, for example:

  • I’ve decided to increase your salary.
  • I’ve decided to give you a raise.
  • I’ve decided to give you a raise in pay.

In American English, we normally do not say ‘pay rise’.
[size=75]“To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.” ~ Albert Einstein[/size]

If Pay Rise = Pay Raise, the word ‘raise’ is to be treated as a noun, which might be what prevails in the US. RISE is intransitive and RAISE transitive in nature. However, to be clearer, we may say: I have decided to raise your pay.

HI natives

Is it OK in British and American versions to say “I have decided to raise your pay” as Lawrence suggested.


It’s okay, though ‘give you a pay rise’ would probably be more standard in the UK.

And in the US, it would be much more common to use ‘give you a raise’.

Commonly used expressions are quite clear to native speakers of English because they are used so often.

When T_H_Lawrence referred to ‘transitive’ and ‘intransitive’, he was referring to verbs. However, in the expressions ‘give you a pay rise’ and ‘give you a raise’, the words ‘rise’ and ‘raise’ are both clearly used as nouns – not as verbs.

Please also keep in mind that not everyone receives a salary. Many people are paid wages on an hourly basis. Saying ‘a (pay) raise’ could mean either an increase in someone’s fixed amount of pay (e.g. the fixed weekly/monthly/annual amount of pay received), OR it could refer to an increase in the amount of money a person earns per hour.

[size=75]“I don’t pay good wages because I have a lot of money; I have a lot of money because I pay good wages.” ~ Robert Bosch[/size]

I just meant whether ‘raise’ could be used as a noun in the BrE. I doubt, though it might be possible in the AmE.

I think “give you a raise” is used by some BrE speakers, though “give you a pay rise” would be more common.