Which sentence below is correct?

Ben received a pay rise.
Ben received a pay raise.


That depends.

In American English, a person receives a raise in salary. In British English it is a rise.

Source: dictionary.com

In each region you can even use raise / rise without pay and there is no question about what's increased:

Ben received a raise.


Ben received a rise.

  • They're both used - "Ben's salary was raised", "Ben's salary rose".
    – Armand
    Mar 4 '11 at 17:10
  • 1
    +1 for noting the regional American vs. British usage of the terms.
    – JYelton
    Mar 4 '11 at 17:49

Hmmm - just based the general usage of the words in other contexts, I would say "pay rise" denotes some across the board increase that everyone got due to contract negotiations or gov't action. A "pay raise" would denote that Bill alone got the increase.

Even so - it's a stretch and I would normally ask for clarification as the meaning is unclear - I'm not sure anyone else would see the difference. It strikes me as the sort of differentiation that a specialist in accounting or management would make aot the normal guy on the street.

  • 3
    Either way, Ben's happy :)
    – Armand
    Mar 4 '11 at 17:13

The second is correct. See here for a nice explanation of the difference.

  • the linked article is unclear on this point.
    – Armand
    Mar 4 '11 at 16:53
  • Link only answers are discouraged.
    – Carsten S
    Apr 19 '18 at 8:43

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