Bill settlement at a hotel is unavoidable. When it’s time to pay for services rendered there are several expressions that both the guests and staff may used. Look at these examples.

Expressions- Bill Settlement

From Staff From Guests
Will that be cash or charge? I’ll be paying with cash.
How will you be paying? Do you accept VISA or MasterCard?
Could you sign here please? There you are.
Here’s you change sir. That’s OK, keep the change.
Would you like a receipt? Could I have a receipt please?
I’ll check the bill again if you like. This seems a bit much. Can this be right?
Yes, a service charge is included in the bill. Is a tip or gratuity included in the bill?
Let me double check that for you ma’am. I think there’s been a mistake on the bill.


Guest: Could I have the check please?
Staff: Of course sir, I’ll be back in a moment.

Guest: I’d like to check out please.
Staff: Of course sir, could I have your room number and room key?
Guest: The room was 333. Here’s the key.
Staff: Did you use the mini bar sir?
Guest: Yes, I had a couple of sodas.
Staff: The total comes to $577.99. Will you be charging this sir?
Guest: Yes, put it on my Visa Card.
Staff: Sign here please. And thank you for staying with us.
Guest: There you go. Thanks

Staff: How will you be settling your bill sir?
Guest: I’ll be paying by cash.
Staff: Yes sir, here’s the bill.
Guest: Excuse me, but what is this charge for?
Staff: Let me see, it’s for an apple pie.
Guest: But we didn’t order apple pie.
Staff: I’m terrible sorry for the error sir. Let me refigure this. Here you go sir.
Guest: That looks right. Thank you.
Staff: Sorry for the error sir, and please come again.

Staff: Would you like to pay for the tennis court in cash or charge it to your room?
Guest: Just charge it to my room please.
Staff: Yes sir, if you could just sign here.
Guest: There you are.
Staff: Thank you sir, have a pleasant day.

Practice Conversation Activities- Bill Settlement

1. Role Play

Role play the following situations for bill settlement with a partner, one person taking the role of the guest and the other person taking the role of a hotel staff. Try to use all of the expressions noted above.

The guest didn’t order a beer with dinner
The bill had a charge for a deluxe burger, not a plain burger
The bill included a charge for 2 glasses of tea, the guest only had 1
The bill didn’t include 2 orders of ice cream
The guest got the wrong bill, for someone else’s order

2. Discussion

Have a discussion about the problems you encounter when guests settle their bills. What kinds of problems are there? What is the most common problem? Does it happen very often? Are guests being charged for services they did not receive? Are there many mistakes made by the hotel? Do guests try to get more than they want to pay for? What is the reaction of the guests when the hotel makes mistakes? Are they understanding? Are they angry? When having the discussion give specific examples of problems encountered.

3. Group Activity, A Skit

Divide the class into groups of 2 or 3. Students work together to develop a skit that is grammatically correct about a guest being charged for a service (or item in a restaurant) he didn’t receive. Once the skit is developed, students present it to the teacher and the rest of class. The teacher judges the skit based on language, grammar use, pronunciation, originality, and acting ability.

4. Whole Class Activity, First To Know

Put the following words (in bold) on the board. The teacher reads the definitions of the words. Students listen to the definition and the first student that knows the word races to the board and circles the work and puts their initials in the circle. The person with the most initials wins.

Supplement: An addition to something
Amount: The cost of something
Sub-total: The amount of part of a bill
Total: The entire cost of something
Exchange Rate: The cost of one currency compared to another
Room Rate: The price of a room at a hotel
Charge: To pay for something with a credit card
Discount: An amount subtracted from the total
Invoice: Another word for bill
Coupon: A paper with a set price (usually discounted) for a good
Balance: The amount of money remaining (usually in a bank account)
Debit: To subtract from a balance
Credit: To add to a balance
Deposit: To put money into a bank account
Gratuity: An extra amount added to a bill given to a waiter or waitress for good service
Tip: A gratuity
Service charge: An additional amount added to a bill
Tax: An amount added to a bill that goes to the government

Other Links
Bills at Stores
Buying and Selling
In a Restaurant