usage of "pay"

Hi, all

Do you find these sentences natural:

Thanks in advance!


Hi LS,

I can only find (1) as acceptable - using ‘pay’ with the impersonal ‘it’ - there is (not) an advantage in doing something. Once you use ‘pay’ with a personal pronoun, you are using the verb in its first meaning of ‘make a payment’.


Hi Alan,
Is #1 a common syntax?

Many thanks,

#2 could be “It doesn’t pay to be his friend.” (It’s not worth it.)

Yes, Nessie, where I live, it’s common.

Thank you, Alan and Barb_D


So, if I understood you correctly, I can say these:

This car is rusty and rickety. It doesn’t pay to drive it.
This guy commited a felony. It doesn’t pay to be his friend

Do you find those sentences correct ?

Thanks again !

“It doesn’t pay” means it is not worth the time or trouble to do something.

The car is rusty and rickety and as soon as you fix one thing, the next thing breaks. It doesn’t pay to have it repaired. Take the money you spend to repair it and make a down payment on a new one.

That guy is really selfish. When he needs something, he’s your friend. When you need something, he’s no where to be found. It doesn’t pay to be his friend.