How to talk about your pay in English

The words which refer to the money an employee reciveives from an employer include:

pay, salary, wages, income but also remuneration or compensation package.


the most general, you can get pay rise (get more money) or your pay depends partly on reaching agred targets, then is peformance-related pay.


used for white-collar jobs (professional). Often shown as annual amount, e.g $50,000 yearly salary.


used for blue-collar jobs (manual/factory). Wages is also used for money earned by the whole workforce in the country: Wages in Poland are lower than in Germany.


is money you get in year including your salary but also money from investments, savings, etc.


refers to money paid for work or service, but it’s more formal. It often goes with 'package’ – remuneration package (where there are more components – monetary and non-monetary included such as – commission, bonus, perks)


is an informal way of saying ’net pay’, after deducting (taking away) things like income tax and social security.

How to talk about your pay:

What’s your monthly/annual salary?

How much do you make in a year?

What is the weekly wage you earn?

My annual income is 50 K euros, gross.

I earn around PLN 120 K before tax.

I take home around 2,000 euros a month.


Choose the correct answer (the key is at the bottom of this page):

  1. I earn / win a reasonable salary.
  2. Company’s employers / employees will get a pay rise of 5%.
  3. We have a system of performance-related salary / pay in my company.
  4. I get 15% bonus / commission on evry sale I make.
  5. I work in a bar and my wages / salary isn’t great.
  6. My salary sounds like a lot – but my actual take-away / take-home pay is a lot less.
  7. They give me some extra bonuses / perks such as a company car and health care.

Contact me to schedule your lessons.


  1. earn 2. employees 3. pay 4. commission 5. wages 6. take-home 7. perks

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