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Unit 3.1: Making, Accepting, and Declining an Invitation

Do you know how to invite someone to your house for dinner or party?  Or, do you know what to say in English when someone invites you?  Here are some common expressions you can use.

  • Inviting Someone to Come to Your House for Dinner (Informal)

  • Wanna come over for dinner tonight? (Wanna = want to)

  • Wanna pop over for a quick dinner?

  • How about coming over for dinner tonight?

  • Care to come over for dinner tonight?

  • Inviting Someone to Come to Your House for Dinner (More formal)

  • Would you like to come over for dinner tonight?

  • Would you care to join us for dinner at our house tonight?

  • I was just wondering if you would like to come over for dinner tonight.

  • Please come over for dinner tonight.

  • We'd be delighted to have you over for dinner tonight.

  • Accepting an Invitation (Informal)

  • Sure.  What time?

  • Why not?  When do you want me to be there?

  • Sure.  When should I be there?

  • Yes!  Want me to bring something?

  • I'd love to.  I'll bring dessert.

  • Accepting an Invitation (More formal)

  • Thank you!  I'd love to.  Would you like me to bring anything?

  • Thank you very much!  I'd be delighted to.  What time should I be there?

  • Oh, certainly!  Thank you.  Do I need to bring anything?

  • Declining an Invitation (Informal)

  • I can't.  I have to work.

  • Tonight's no good.  I have an appointment.

  • I'm busy tonight.  Can I take a raincheck on that? 

(*raincheck: if someone invites you to dinner on a night that you are busy, you can say, "Can I take a raincheck?"  This means that you hope they will invite you again on another night.)

  • Declining an Invitation (More formal)

  • I'd love to, but I'm afraid I'm busy tonight.

  • I'd love to, but I already have plans tonight. 

 

Examples:

 

Dialog 1:  (between 2 co-workers) 

  • Ann:  Bob and I are having a little get-together at our place tonight .  Wanna pop over after work?

  • JimSure, why not?  What time do you want me to be there?

  • Ann:  Around 6. 

  • Jim:  OK.  Want me to bring something?

  • Ann:  No.  Just bring yourself.

 

Dialog 2:  (between 2 friends) 

  • SamWanna come over for a quick meal tonight? 

  • TomTonight's no good.  I have a date.  Can I take a raincheck?

  • Sam:  OK.  No problem.  Enjoy your evening!

  • Tom:  You too. 

Dialog 3:  (a parent is making an invitation to her son's teacher) 

  • Jan:  Mr. Brown, my husband and I were just wondering if you would like to come over for dinner this evening. 

  • BrownOh, thank you!  I'd be delighted to.

  • Jan:  Great!  Could you come over at around 6?

  • Brown:  Sure.  Do I need to bring anything?

  • Jan:  No, but thanks for asking.

  • Brown:  OK.  See you this evening then.

Dialog 4:  (a parent is making an invitation to her son's teacher) 

  • Jan:  Mr. Brown, my husband and I were just wondering if you would like to come over for dinner this evening. 

  • Brown:  Well, I'd love to, but I have another appointment tonight.

  • Jan:  Oh, that's too bad.  Well, maybe next time then.

  • Brown:  Yeah!  Thank you for asking.  Enjoy your evening!

Exercise - Click on the link below:

<Back to Module 3    Go to Unit 3.2>

 

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