# you get what you pay for

do cpacu da poi do pleji fo ke'a ? --pne

do cpacu lo ve pleji be fo do --cein

• But those two mean "you get something you pay for". In other words, there is something which you pay for and get. The English version says that all you get is what you pay for, that you get nothing more, or nothing better, than what you pay for. Using le instead of lo gets you closer to the original, I think, but only when applied in a particular situation. For the generic statement I would use lo'e. The other question is whether we want to keep using do for generic you. I can't think of a better alternative though. --xorxes
• what about ko'a or zu'o or zo'e? --greg
• zo'e is just a place holder, it doesn't have a meaning of its own. ko'a has a definite referent. zu'i might work if we don't follow too closely the definition as written in the ma'oste. Then we would have:

da = lo du

ko'a = le du

ti = le vi du

ta = le va du

tu = le vu du

zu'i = lo'e du

• Is this a case for du, then? le se cpacu be do cu du le ve pleji be fo do = "You get (exactly) what you pay for", "What you get is (exactly equal to) what you pay for"? --pne
• Yep, that works for a particular instance: that particular thing that you got is that particular thing that you paid for. It doesn't work if le refers to more than one thing though, for then you get each of the things you get each being equal to each of the ones you pay for, which is not what we want. That can be fixed by using lei instead of le. For a general statement about the facts of life, I'd use lo'e instead of le. --xorxes
• What would be the effect of doubly-negating it? Would "you don't get what you don't pay for" embody the kind of restriction you are looking for?
• Yes, you can do that: do cpacu no lo na ve pleji be fo do, "you get nothing you haven't paid for", but the meaning is not quite the same. This time we are not saying that you do get what you do pay for. --xorxes
• I'm less sure about the positive content here; this saying seems appropriate when you get less than you paid for -- especially if you go for a cheap item and get something that is less than you even imagined. There is also another aspect of this, which goes beyond literal paying and receiving, and is a variant on "You reap what you sow" and "What goes around comes around",a kind of jeering non-consolation for the score evening out on someone. (There, that is enough muddled metaphors to keep someone busy for a while.) pc

le se cpacu le ve pleji ta'e ckini leka mintu or just lese cpacu le ve pleji ta'e mintu; you could even try cpacu jo pleji...