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If someone meets someone in a bar and offers that person to buy them both a drink, in English one could say,

  • Please, have a drink with me, on me
  • Let us have a drink together, on me

How to say "on me" in an informal way? Perhaps:

  • Auf mich
  • Über mir

(I think "ich zahle" is practially more common in German but I might be wrong).

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Variants:

Das geht (the drink) auf mich!

Lass uns 'was trinken. Geht auf mich.

Die Rechnung geht auf mich.

Suspected origin:

I suppose it is derived from a phrase you could use in a (hotel) restaurant:

Schreib es (the amount) auf Zimmer 1337.

Schreib es auf mein' Deckel. (A list of beverages not yet paid for)

Notes:

  • Über mir (above me) is not used in this context.
  • I would not say that "Ich zahle." is used more.
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    But be careful, "Trinken wir auf mich!" would mean "Lets drink to me / to my health" like a toast. – Sentry Nov 19 '20 at 13:15
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    Fehlt noch "Meine Runde" wenn es um mehr als 2 Personen geht. – user unknown Nov 19 '20 at 14:07
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    The "Deckel" in one of the examples refers to the Bierdeckel, the coaster, used not only with beer glasses. The practice is not as common today as it once was, but in the past the waiter or waitress would make a mark on the coaster for every beverage served. At the end of the night, you would "pay your coaster", "deinen Deckel bezahlen". Such a coaster with marks can actually be a legal document. Regular patrons might even be allowed to pay in larger intervals, like once a month. – Henning Kockerbeck Nov 19 '20 at 16:27
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    @HenningKockerbeck the practice is still widespread in e.g. Cologne bars and beer-gardens. It is customary to have marks on a coaster - you can either pay at your table, or take the marked coaster to the bartender/counter and pay there. If you want to pay for someone else as well, you just take their coaster with you and pay off both. - And the part with regular patrons is called "anschreiben" and I still know one or two bars where the amount owed by the regulars is literally written on a black board. – Falco Nov 20 '20 at 9:58
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    Upvote for Zimmer 1337 ;-) – Mawg says reinstate Monica Nov 21 '20 at 20:26
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Some propositions:

  • Ich gebe einen aus (probably the omitted substantive is Drink, at least I can't come up with a generic masculine alternative)
  • Der geht auf meine Rechnung
  • Das übernehme ich
  • Darf ich dich/Sie auf ein Bier/Glas Wein/etc. einladen? (obviously the most formal variant).

Über mir is not used in this context.

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    "Der geht auf meine Rechnung" This only works for male drinks (e.g. der Cocktail, der Mojito, der Wein, ... ) , not for das Bier or die Cola. The general form is der/die/das geht auf mich, while das is possible for all drinks, as it may also serve as a demonstrativ pronoun or be short for das Getränk. – infinitezero Nov 19 '20 at 21:02
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    Über mir is completely wrong in this context, extremely confusing. Better remove not used by not applicable – Wolf Nov 20 '20 at 13:10
  • "einen" could refer to any number of alcoholic drinks requiring a masculine article. Most of them do: Schnaps, Likör, (Brannt)wein, Cognac, Rum, Whiskey, Brandy, Ouzo, ... (It's probably short for something along the lines of "Ich gebe einen Kurzen aus", "Kurzer" being a slang term for Schnaps.) – Llewellyn Nov 20 '20 at 19:43
  • "Trunk", oder "Trank" könnten auch beide das masculine Wort sein, das früher bei deinem ersten Beispiel impliziert war. Besonders wenn man die etwas älteren Deutungen berücksichtigt, passt das doch recht gut, denke ich. – Alex Stragies Nov 21 '20 at 17:41
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I've mostly heard "Ich lade dich ein", which literally translates to "I invite you", but in a bar/restaurant, people can say this when they're offering to buy you a drink.

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    ich lade dich ein ;) – Alex Nov 20 '20 at 13:29
  • Thank you, @Alex. I just edited my answer. – laur34 Nov 20 '20 at 14:24

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