If you are an English language learner, giving an invitation can be a daunting situation. The consideration of whether to be formal or informal, or the decision of which words to use, might be difficult for you. To choose the right wording for your invitation, decide which tone you want to convey to the person you are inviting. For oral invitations, choose whether you will make an indirect invitation by asking if someone is free or making a suggestion, or whether you will make a direct invitation.
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Ask about the person's availability. Say, for example, "What are you doing tomorrow night? Do you want to come to my party?" Or, say "Are you busy tonight?" If the person accepts your invitation, tell him the location of the event. Use these questions for informal occasions, with friends or acquaintances.
Make a suggestion. Say, "How about we go out tonight?"; "Let's go to the movies"; or "Why don't we rent a movie?" Make the invitation personal by replacing the end of the question with your suggested activity.
Present the invitation directly. Say, "Would you like to...?" or "Do you want to...?" Fill in the ending of the question with the relevant information.
Use "I (or We) would like to request the honour of your presence at a banquet (or other event)" if you are inviting someone to a formal event.
Provide the date, time and place of the event. This is especially important in written invitations. If the event location is not well-known, provide the address as well.
Give the person your contact information so he can call or e-mail you with questions about the invitation later if it is necessary.
Tips and warnings
- If you need to know how many people are coming to an event, ask people to let you know if they are planning to come by a certain date before the event. On a formal invitation, you can write "Please RSVP to (your name) by (calling, sending an e-mail, or returning the RSVP card, for example)."
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