Hello English learners!
Have you ever gotten a bill? What about an invoice? What is the difference between the two?
This is a common question among native speakers of English! If you can learn the difference between bill and invoice, you might just speak English better than a native speaker.
Let’s start with the word bill.
The word bill is both a noun and a verb. The noun has around 10 definitions.
The most common usage is when the word bill means a statement that indicates the money owed for services or products.
She received a bill after the workers finished installing the pool.
The word bill can also mean a paper money that has a specific amount valued to it.
They found a 100-dollar bill on the ground in front of the bank.
When talking about politics, the word bill is a proposed law that has not yet passed legislation.
The government was still drafting a bill for healthcare.
When the word bill is used as a verb it means to send a bill to.
The company will bill me for the installation of the cabinets.
The word invoice is also both a noun and a verb.
The noun invoice means a list of products or services that the customer needs to pay.
I sent an invoice for the translation that I did for the company.
The company found many un-paid invoices that had never been mailed to their customers.
So what is the difference between bill and invoice?
If I am going to get a statement telling how much I need to pay, then it is a bill. The verb is to bill and the noun is bill when I must pay it.
This is the key to understanding the difference between bill and invoice. Which word is correct depends on who is sending it and who is receiving it.
Let’s take a closer look the word invoice.
When the piece of paper has been sent by you TO SOMEONE ELSE, then it is an invoice. Here, perspective is everything. The name of the paper changes depending on who is looking at it.
If I wrote a list of services and there is an amount of money to be paid, then for me it is called an invoice.
I will be getting money = invoice.
If someone else has been given this list of services and there is an amount of money to be paid, then for them it is called a bill.
I must pay money = bill.
It is that simple!
Just be careful when using the word bill or invoice. Don’t forget to comment below! Write your own sentences for additional practice.