Meaning of UNDER THE TABLE and OFF THE BOOKS – A Short English Lesson with Subtitles


So in Canada like in most countries when you have a job you have to pay taxes. When you get your paycheck
there is a certain amount of money that goes
straight to the government, you don’t see it at all. Unless, you work under the table. This is illegal in Canada, but if you work under the
table for someone it means that instead of taking
money off your paycheck to send to the government
to pay your income taxes, they just give you cash. So instead of a paycheck they
just give you an envelope with lots of 20, or 50,
or $100 bills in it. Again it is illegal to work
under the table in Canada, but there are people in Canada
who work under the table and so their boss just gives them cash to pay them instead of
giving them a paycheck. When you work under the table though, you usually don’t make as much money as you would make if you had a real job. We have another phrase, off the books. And this means something
very very similar. When somebody keeps
something off the books, it means they do not write
down what they’ve done. So sometimes when you
get paid under the table, you can also say that you are
getting paid off the books. So the person who is paying
you does not write down that they paid you, and they don’t put it into their computer. So, when you work under the table it means that you get paid cash. That means they actually give you money as bills instead of giving you a paycheck. And when someone does
something off the books, it means that they do not write it down, or enter it into a computer. Anyways, Bob the Canadian here and you’re learning English with me. It’s Friday today. I’m going home from work soon and I hope that you have a good weekend and I hope I have a good weekend too. See ya on Monday.

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20 thoughts on “Meaning of UNDER THE TABLE and OFF THE BOOKS – A Short English Lesson with Subtitles”

  1. Noureddine Elmaoujoud says:

    Thanks for your effort your follower from morocco

  2. QuantumGuitar says:

    Black work

  3. Gaw Gaww says:

    Does the government have a penalty for that? And whose fault is that? I don't think it was the employee's fault

  4. Єлена Єлена says:

    In our country a lot of people work under the table. It's a common thing for employers to give envelopes with cash. So they prefer keeping it off the books. That's illegal, but it still exists. Have a nice weekend, Bob!

  5. Joseph Murphy says:

    Thanks! Greetings from Brazil. Love your channel. Keep it up!

  6. Joseph Murphy says:

    Please make a video about formal verbs that we need to know

  7. Shen says:

    For some people, doing "black work" is more free but get slow salaries as well, we have no right to stop them cuz it's their choice.(But it's actually illegal)
    BTW the phrase" under the table" in the video means people are doing "Cash Job" ??

  8. Deekshansh Pathak says:

    Don't you feel cold Bob with just a shirt. It's much warmer here compared to Canada but I still feel cold when the sun is not out. I have to wear a sweater.

    The spring is coming soon here. 😃💐 We just celebrated our spring festival called Vasant Panchami a couple of days ago. We celebrate it before the spring to welcome it. It's still cold but the weather is really nice in the evening.

  9. Francisco du Vietnam says:

    In French, work illegally : « travailler au noir (au black) !!! » 😅 And « Under the table » can be literally translated by “dessous de table” (or “pot de vin”) who means “a bribe”! 😉

  10. Magaly Pena says:

    Hi Nob!
    Under the table is in Miami "for the left"
    In Spanish "por la izquierda"
    Thank you for your short lesson, as always, excellent!

  11. Mollie Tai says:

    I don’t work under the table/off the books.

  12. Kyongyeon Cho says:

    Some people from other countries work under the table because they don't have a visa that allow them to work. Then, their employers use the situation and give them less wage, letting them work off the book.

  13. Ricardo says:

    This kind of economy exists in almost all countries and it measures the develop's level of each one, how the larger amount is, the minor is the development, it's a pity but it's closely linked to the human behaviour.


    Ok Teacher see ya on Monday!!!Thanks for the great lesson!!!

  15. azot azotov says:

    if you work not official in ukraine you are paid for job only with cash and it is called " getting money in envelope". I hope that everything is written here is clear)) in ukraine more than 30 % peoples have illegal job and dont pay taxes at all.

  16. javier fernando agudelo gomez says:

    Hi Bob, I have that exactly shirt that you´re wearing

  17. Liv Universe says:

    Thanks for the video 🙂

  18. des g says:

    Yesterday j drank too much and j was under the table 🥵😄😀. Of course it's a joke ,J didn't drink at all. Under the table means also to be drunk , very, very drunk 😎. Take care Bob 🇨🇦😀.

  19. Augusto Semplice says:

    under-the-table cash/deal/payment…..working off the books, be kept off the books, o.t.b. payments….. very very very similar indeed

    😉 In ITA we just say it one way: "IN NERO"

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