It is impossible to be perfect on everything. Sometimes if we want to do well in A, we cannot do well in B at the same time.

I do know the phrase "at the cost/expense of", which can be applied to the following case:

In China, economic development has often been achieved at the cost/expense of the environment.

But I have also heard people saying something like

You can get A .....charge..... B

You can get A .....price of..... B

You can get A .....payment..... B

Due to my poor listening comprehension, I can't complete the three sentences above(Maybe I misheard what they said completely). But I am wondering if there are any other (fancy) ways to say "you can get A at a cost of B" in different circumstances. Also I wonder if there are expressions for which B can be long sentences.

Thanks in advance!

  • You can trade B for A. Also see trade-off. Of the expressions you mentioned, only the second one sounds idiomatic to me. (You can get A at the price of B). – Tushar Raj Jun 17 '16 at 3:52

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