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My son goes out for the day every weekend, so I have to give him transportation fee and lunch money every time he does so.

I'd like to know if the above sentence sounds natural to native speakers. My concerns are:

  1. Is there any way to make the expression "transportation fee and lunch money" shorter? I'm wondering if it can be described as "xx for transportation and lunch".

  2. Is it awkward if I omit "he does so" and put the period after "time"?

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In business accounting in the UK this type of expenditure is sometimes collectively categorised as travel and subsistence (abbreviated T&S), but it would sound unnatural in a personal context to say “I give my son T&S”. –  Brian Nixon Jun 14 '12 at 16:55

8 Answers 8

What about pocket money to cover both lunch and transportation?

Pocket money is defined as: money for day-to-day spending, incidental expenses, etc.


So you could revise your sentence to something like:

Each time my son goes out for the day, I have to give him pocket money.

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"transportation fee" sounds very artificial "bus/train fare" would be more normal

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I have to give him money for travel and lunch.

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My son takes leave of home on the weekend, and I give him a per diem.

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+1 That's the phrase I've heard the most. At work though. It's fun to use it at home too. –  prash Mar 5 '12 at 19:38
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In AmE, at least on the Northeast US, this is sentence is awkward and per diem is a jargon term typically only used by a lawyer etc. in a professional context. –  horatio Mar 7 '12 at 22:39
    
I know "per diem" from labour law context... –  РСТȢѸФХѾЦЧШЩЪЫЬѢѤЮѦѪѨѬѠѺѮѰѲѴ Mar 9 at 18:40

The subject sentence,

My son goes out for the day every weekend, so I have to give him transportation fee and lunch money every time he does so.

does indeed sound odd. (That is not to say it could not or would not be written by a native speaker; many native speakers are quite accomplished at writing oddly.)

The first odd item is "out for the day every weekend". One might say "out for the day each Saturday" (or Sunday) but there's a clash between "for the day" (one day) and "the weekend" (two). "A day" might work.

An article (a or the) is needed before "transportation fee". As bio-text.com notes in ESL2, "Singular countable nouns require an article. Plural countable nouns and all non-countable nouns do not require an article."

Thus, you could write "... give him the transportation fee and his lunch money...". Of course, to shorten it all, instead write "... give him transportation and lunch money...", letting transportation and lunch be adjectives modifying money. Or, more briefly and perhaps idiomatically, "... give him travel and lunch money...".

Finally, in place of "every time he does so", write "each time", giving:

My son goes out for a day each weekend, and I must give him travel and lunch money each time.

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I think she means that her son leaves home for the entire day on both Saturday and Sunday, presumably returning at night. Your revision "...out for a day each weekend..." is not the same thing. –  JLG Mar 5 '12 at 15:29
    
@JLG: That's a matter of interpretation, but it's irrelevant anyway - jwpat correctly nails OP's substantive question with "travel and lunch money". –  FumbleFingers Mar 5 '12 at 18:07

How about, "My son goes out all day on weekends, so I have to give him bus fare and lunch money."

But I am still not comfortable with the first half of the sentence. Can you specify where he goes? That might make it less awkward:

"My son goes to the city most weekend days, so I have to give him bus fare and lunch money."

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"Expenses coverage", I would say.

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My son goes out for the day every weekend, so I have to give him transportation fee and lunch money every time he does so.

I'd like to know if the above sentence sounds natural to native speakers. My concerns are:

Is there any way to make the expression "transportation fee and lunch money" shorter? I'm wondering if it can be described as "xx for transportation and lunch".

Is it awkward if I omit "he does so" and put the period after "time"?

Not just if you omit “he does so”; the entire sentence does not sound natural.

The word transportation (instead of transport). There's nothing wrong with the word transport, as it is. It is the natural and normal way for English (and other British) people to use the word. Also, putting the word money after the word lunch is not natural. It's more natural to say money for lunch.

The first part of your sentence, “My son goes out for the day every weekend”, is unclear. There is more than one day in weekends. Do you mean that he goes out for one day or both days, every weekend? If it’s one day, you can say “My son goes out for one day every weekend.” If it’s both days, you can say “My son goes out for the day, every Saturday and Sunday.’

Therefore, your sentence can be: “My son goes out for one day every weekend.” Or, “My son goes out for the day, every Saturday and Sunday, so I have to give him money for transport and lunch, every time."

This would be the more natural and common way to say it, at least to me as a speaker of British English.

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