In conversation with my friend, I said:

Ich begleite dich also, aber im Gegenzug lädst du mich später zum Abendessen ein.

I wonder how the following two would have compared and which would have been the best option in this context?

Ich begleite dich also, aber als Gegenleistung lädst du mich später zum Abendessen ein.

Ich begleite dich also, aber zum Ausgleich lädst du mich später zum Abendessen ein.

  • 2
    All three are fine. The last one implies it's a burden which really needs a compensation. The other two are friendly banter.
    – Janka
    Feb 19, 2018 at 14:59
  • @Janka Interesting nuance! Incidentally, which is more commonly used: "zum Ausgleich" or "als Ausgleich"? Feb 19, 2018 at 15:06
  • 5
    In a conversation with a friend, I would just say "..., dafür lädst du mich später...". Probably colloquial, but I guess my friend would be really surprised if I as a native german speaker would use one of the three options above, at least in spoken german. Feb 19, 2018 at 15:08
  • @aloNe-zee I think "zum Ausgleich" and "als Ausgleich" are equally common, at least here in Vienna... Feb 19, 2018 at 15:09
  • 1
    @mischa.mole why don’t you make this an answer? Answering in comments is discouraged - and I can’t upvote ;-)
    – Stephie
    Feb 19, 2018 at 15:30

5 Answers 5


The simplest way to say that is "dafür" like in

Ich begleite dich, aber dafür lädst du mich dann zum Abendessen ein

Your proposals are also possible but would be considered a bit on the formal side.


I think it is rather opinion based and all three variances have very small differences. I disagree to the comment that these are not used in common speech, they are. I would say I hear them almost the same amount. I would like to characterize each as following, but again, all are nearly equal and can be used in a conversation with a friend, personally I have following connotations:

Gegenzug comes probably from chess, so it is the most intelligent and well thought reaction to something, so it does not fit well for leisure things.

Gegenleistung is most formal, rather said in a business or working context.

Ausgleich is neutral, for me it sounds less offensive.


Tofros dafür (siehe andere Antwort) ist die beste, weil einfachste und natürlichste Ausdrucksform. Gut und auch weit verbreitet ist daneben noch:

Okay, ich begleite dich; und du revanchierst dich mit einem Abendessen.

Revanche ist in der Grundbedeutung zwar die Rache und Vergeltung, jedoch ist es durchaus üblich, es auch für Taten mit positivem Affektgehalt zu benützen.

  • 1
    Now that you mention it, it is similar to "À charge de revanche !" in French. :) Feb 20, 2018 at 17:48

Of the three options you presented, I like im Gegenzug best, as it explains that paying for dinner references some past event, but does not imply some (formal, legal or financial) obligation like als Gegenleistung does. Zum Ausgleich implies that there is something in quantitive unbalance, though.

The option dafür is probably the best alternative, at least in informal, spoken conversations.


Classification: friendship-as-business question

Answer: The

»Kannst du mir helfen?«
»Was zahlst du?«

behaviour isn't common even among Germans. Friends usually don't ask for a reward when doing a favour.

Therefore, if you cannot abstain from a service in return, I recommend to drop a hint instead of talking directly:

Da wird mir heute Abend aber ganz schön der Magen knurren!

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