What do you say when you hand over money in shops?

I know you don’t have to say anything, but it always feels impolite and cold to just hand over money silently in shops, on buses, and in other circumstances where you’re expected to pay for things. I find I usually say something like, ‘There you go.’

Do you have the same feeling? Do you tend to say anything? If so, what do you say (in whatever language)?

9 Comments

Filed under Language

9 responses to “What do you say when you hand over money in shops?

  1. I was thinking about this today – I've found that I say "Thanks" when I'm giving them money, then "cheers" or "ta" when they're giving me the change. To say 'thanks' twice would be a bit weird. This leads to problems, of course, when there are extra interactions like showing ID, handing debit card over, signing something, entering PIN etc. Eventually I just stop talking.

  2. Some comments from Facebook follow:I agree, and I use the same phrase, although it usually comes out heavily lenited, something along the lines of [ðɛjˈɣɐ]. Also functions very well as "There you are", and may be used in ingressive speech. Which I do. The fact that no shopkeeper has ever attempted to call 999 because they were under the impression that I was choking suggests that they don't actually pay any attention to what you're saying anyway. But yeah, there is still this gnawing feeling that it *does* matter, and that it's impolite not to say anything…

  3. It depends on the person taking the cash. If they ask for it in an impudent manner (which they tend to more and more these days… it wasn't like that when we were younger etc) I am more than happy to hand it over in silence. But, I know what you mean because usually I end up saying "thanks" as I hand it over, only to have to repeat myself when they hand me the item I've purchased, so it sounds a bit daft.

  4. Usually "thanks" if it's quiet but I'm usually waffling away about the weather or some other bunkum so I don't have to come up with anything else.If I've been shuffling through my purse to find the right change I usually repeat the quantity that was requested.

  5. I usually ask if I can pay by card.

  6. I have the second commenter's problem. I usually say 'cheers' when I hand the money over and 'thanks' when I get my change and again when I'm taking my stuff away. I suppose I am usually pretty grateful throughout the whole purchasing process, but three discrete expressions of gratitude seems like overdoing it. Sometimes I try grinning and nodding at them like an idiot instead of the first 'cheers', but that doesn't seem right either.

  7. surely you say "thanks" whilst receiving your items, handing over your money and then again to bid them farewell? or is that just english people??

  8. I find myself saying "tell your capitalist pig masters that their days are numbered". Unfortunately I say it so often that it feels like it's become conventionalised and lost all meaning. Shame.

  9. Andre Van den Wyngaert

    In Dutch (Belgium and Netherlands) we say “alstublieft” which is short for “als het u belieft” and that means literally “if it pleases you”. The same word is used if you ask or beg for something politely. So why not in English; why can’t you say “please” when you give something?

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