I'll cover

Is it okay to use the word “cover” to say I’ll pay for you?
If so, how can I use it into a sentence?

  1. I’ll cover.
  2. I’ll cover it.
  3. I’ll cover for you?

Thank you!!!

Yes, it is okay to use ‘cover’ in this case. I would use number 2. Number 3 is not good in this context but it can be used in other contexts. For example, if we are working together and you need to go out for an hour, I can say “I’ll cover for you” meaning that I will take over your responsibilities while you are gone.


let say two friends sit down and after eating one has these 3 options to choose one could technically say all 3 and be understood. #2 is the most “natural” but I’ve heard number 3 said as a statement like ill cover for you, don’t worry etc. so #1 is the worst #2 the best and #3 is alright.


Could also say. “I’ve got you covered”


People also say “on me” or “drinks are on me” if they are paying for the drinks.


^^This is a great exaplanation.

Lily, I would add one more thing: in the options you laid out, as Colin said, number 2 is the best in the situation you are describing (someone paying for someone else at dinner). However, the other extremely common version in the context is also “I’ll cover YOU” meaning the person will pay for the other person’s meal, cost, etc.


Of the list, #2 is best.

About the word “cover,” perhaps this would be good to read: Cover charge - Wikipedia

I’d suggest “cover” is used as a verb significantly when what is being paid for is the basics–such as an entrance fee, a set price per person for something, or an amount otherwise what’s required for entrance, attendance, or participation and things that are included in the price with that.

Say it’s Saturday night and you’re in queue for entering a bar that has a band playing and the bar has a “cover charge” for entrance. Telling your buddy while you’re waiting in line “I’ll cover it” is very fitting.

Say you go to a wedding reception and there’s a bar available. It might be that “drinks are covered” but that tips are not. This would mean the host of the event has paid for the alcohol but the guests should be paying the servers tips.

In many other circumstances, while not technically wrong, there are phrases I would prefer over “I’ll cover it.” I would more often use “I’ve got it,” “I’ll take care of it,” or “It’s on me” as ColinJohnstonov has identified. I’d suggest these phrases better emphasize the silent, polite message that “It’s a small amount and don’t worry about it. I’ll take care of it.”

Imagine… Waiting in line to enter the bar, about to approach the employee collecting the entrance fee to get in…

Person A: I’ll cover it.
[Means “I will pay the basic entrance fee.”]

Person B: OK. First round’s on me.
[Means “I will buy the first drink for everyone in our group.”]

Both parties are being warm, polite, and generous to each other.