What is the reason/meaning for cashiers to use ちょうど when accepting money?


This I understand, since 500 Yen are a "round" amount. "Exactly 500 Yen."


If I'm supposed to pay exactly 812 Yen, I understand this, too. "Exactly 812 Yen, [as required]."

What I don't understand is the usage when it's neither the amount required nor a round number. Say I'm asked to pay 612 Yen and I'm giving 1,112 Yen to get a 500 Yen coin in return. The cashier will still often say


Is it just the habit of saying ちょうどいただきます, or is there a different meaning behind this ちょうど than "exactly"?

  • 1
    Although an employee mistake sounds most likely, could it be that you misheard ちょうだい for ちょうど? In the situation you describe, 「〜ちょうだいします」would actually be the most correct way of receiving your money (though probably very incorrect if used with いただきます). – Dave Jun 13 '11 at 9:21
  • @Dave I've heard it often enough here and there to be reasonably sure it was ちょうど頂きます. – deceze Jun 13 '11 at 9:53
  • I see... well: weird mistake by a combini drone, then. Keep in mind that I am only talking about the case where you are not, in fact giving exact change (for which ちょうど is perfectly fine, or course)... – Dave Jun 13 '11 at 9:56

Actually, If there is extra amount, they should be using


because they are temporarily taking the amount 1112円 to calculate the difference.

That said, it's hard to change the manner of speaking to suit with received amount, and wrong usage will lead to some kind of impoliteness. So, I guess, most people just remember most used one.

  • So basically you're saying it's just a (bad) habit? – deceze Jun 8 '11 at 11:36
  • @deceze, yeah, kind of. – YOU Jun 8 '11 at 11:44
  • My girlfriend just confirmed that YOU's answer is not only correct, but that the person who says "chodo" in the case of taking more than the total is incorrect. – makdad Jun 8 '11 at 12:04
  • Thanks for confirming my suspicion. Now, I wonder how rude it would be to correct people…? それちゃうねん! ;o) – deceze Jun 8 '11 at 12:21
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    @Jeshii What? That's unpossible! – deceze Jun 8 '11 at 21:48

「1,112円ちょうどいただきます。」 = "I receive exactly ¥1,112."

I see this as a confirmation of what the cashier has received, much as handing two $20 bills would make a cashier confirm "40 dollars" (only without the politeness, since that isn't the style here). This gives the customer an opportunity to request changes to the transaction, such as throwing in a dime if the total is $39.10.

  • So why not just 1,112円をいただきます? – deceze Jun 8 '11 at 8:57
  • Because the clerk is a Chinese student who doesn't get enough sleep? – Axioplase Jul 18 '11 at 10:16

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