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What is correct? It has to be paid in cash. It has to be paid cash. It has to be paid in cache. It has to be paid cache.

If more would be correct, is there a difference in when to use what?

I'm asking because I just read through some legal document where both cash and cache are used.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

It has to be paid in cash is correct. Cache is either a hiding place or a stock of something but it has nothing to do with money, which is what cash is. In computer terms cache has to do with the storage of information or memory but I don't see how the two terms could be interchanged.

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Any variant using cache is incorrect, as you say. But I can't upvote the whole answer if you're meaning to imply that paid cash is also incorrect. It sometimes sounds more informal than paid in cash, but I don't think that's a grammar issue - it's just a matter of style. And usage of the "in" form seems to be declining anyway. – FumbleFingers Oct 9 '11 at 14:08
I agree that "he paid cash" or "you need to pay cash" are fine, and they might explain your Ngram findings. However, I don't think "It has to be paid cash" is too common. Then again I could be wrong, but I'm speaking from my personal experience of North East American English. – Mark Oct 9 '11 at 14:14
I agree must be paid cash isn't all that common, but it certainly does occur. My point is simply that both forms are valid, regardless of which is more common. – FumbleFingers Oct 9 '11 at 15:13
He wants to be paid in cache. That is, he doesn't want money, instead he wants more space on our computer disks to use as his own! – GEdgar Oct 9 '11 at 17:14

A bill has to be paid in cash. An individual has to be paid cash.

The alternatives are just grammatically incorrect.

And as already mentioned, cache is entirely different.

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