What are English idioms for "you have to pay a very high price to get the thing that you want"?

  • Sorry, user626528, that is an idiom. Did you mean something like "synonymous phrases" or roughly what, please? Remembering that "you have to pay a very high price to get the thing that you want" is not an English idiom, but a lengthy phrase which happens to include such an idiom, perhaps as a translations from another language… where specifically did your original phrase come from, please? May 1, 2018 at 18:57
  • @RobbieGoodwin does it really matter where it comes from? I just need some idioms that have this meaning.
    – user626528
    May 1, 2018 at 19:01
  • Then why did you ask here, rather than using a search engine, please? May 1, 2018 at 19:19
  • @RobbieGoodwin if I can't ask questions here, what is this site for?
    – user626528
    May 2, 2018 at 2:29
  • @RobbieGoodwin I know no search engine capable to recognize idioms. And by the way, I think that you should be spending more time trying to answer questions and less time trying to push people around.
    – user626528
    May 3, 2018 at 16:01

2 Answers 2


You can use the metaphor "to pay a high price for something".

Alternatively, use the proverb There is no such thing as a free lunch, which means it is impossible to get something for nothing, there is always a price to pay.

If you mean that you have to pay a very high price to get the things you want and you have doubts about it, or you are not sure if it's worth it, you can say The game is not worth the candle. This idiom is a bit old-fashioned though.


This one looks very close to this meaning: Give an arm and a leg for (something)

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