Talking about Pay and Salary in English

Hi, English learners! Have you ever wondered what is the difference between salary and wage? Or what commission and bonus are? Well, you are in a good place because we will be talking about pay and salary in English today.

Here is the list of the vocabulary we’ll go through:

  • Salary
  • Wage
  • Income
  • Perk
  • Tip
  • Overtime pay
  • Commission
  • Bonus
  • Pension

The English teachers at My Lingua Academy are happy to help you improve your English. You can attend our individual and group private lessons to learn English for free with our blog posts where you will find loads of grammar and vocabulary lessons, as well as exercises and quizzes. 

Pay and salary in English
Pay and salary in English


Salary is a fixed amount of money you typically receive every month for doing your job. We can talk about a gross salary (an amount before the deductions such as taxes, health care, etc.) and a net salary (the remaining amount of money after deductions).

  • The contract stated his gross salary, social security, health care and other deductions.
  • Mr Johnsol was offered a commission on top of his basic salary.
  • Taxes are very high in some countries so your net salary is less than half of your gross salary.


Wage or wages refers to an income which is typically paid daily or weekly. You will often hear collocations minimum wage or living wage. The minimum wage is the smallest amount of money prescribed by the law and the living wage refers to the income that is high enough for a normal living standard.

  • The workers on strike were fighting for fair wages.
  • Your wage will depend on your productivity.
  • The government legislated new minimum wages for workers.
  • As a laid-off worker, he couldn’t get a living wage.


Income refers to the amount of money that a person, a company or a country earns by working or investing money.

  • Robert earned his income as a freelance IT engineer.
  • Lorna’s income was below the living wage so it could hardly keep the wolf from the door.
  • The region generates most of its income from tourism.
  • The company makes a part of its income by investing in stocks.
Pay and salary in English
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Pay and salary in English


Perk is a benefit such as company car, meals, commission, and similar you get from your work.

  • Monica doesn’t earn much, but she enjoys perks such as a company car and free meals.
  • One of the perks of this job is the company’s pension package.


A tip is an extra amount of money you give to a waiter, a driver etc. to thank them for their service. It can be a noun or a verb.

  • Luke left a big tip for the waiter on the table.
  • Do people tip hairdressers in your country?
  • Sandra always keeps some cash in her purse for tips.

Overtime pay

The money you get for working after your normal working hours is called overtime pay. 

  • Peter needed money to repair his car, so he stayed at work after working hours to get overtime pay.
  • In some countries, workers don’t get overtime pay.


An amount of money you get every time you sell some goods (which is in accordance with the value of the goods) or get a new client.

  • The sales personnel in this company get a 1% commission for every car they sell.
  • Most employees in this company don’t have a salary but work for a commission only.
  • For every new customer, George gets £50 commission.


A bonus is an extra amount of money you get at your work, especially as a reward for working hard.

  • All the workers got a £200 Christmas bonus at the end of the year.
  • Simon got a bonus payment for signing a contract with a big shipping company.


A pension is an amount of money you get when you retire from work because you are old or ill.

  • Michael lived on a small pension so his son had to help him financially.
  • You can draw your pension on the 1st of every month at the post office.

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Pay and salary in English

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1 Comment

Shyam Shriram Jane · 28 Mar 2023 at 1:08 pm


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