How to Accept and Decline Invitations in English

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  • Post last modified:28/03/2023
  • Post category:Everyday English
  • Reading time:8 mins read

Invitations in English. Here you will learn everything you need to know – how to make invitations politely, how to accept informal invitations and how to decline invitations in English.

Vocabulary for invitations in English

Invitations in English



Harry is a native English teacher with over 10 years of experience both online and in face-to-face lessons. With his extensive experience in business, he specialises in Business English but happily teaches ESL students with any English learning needs.

Today, I’m going to help you with this, how you can say no to invitations in English so as not to sound rude. So how can you turn down those requests or invitations?

How to say NO to Invitations in English

Of course, you can simply just say no.

Then you can say it very emphatically. Sometimes people might look on that as a little bit rude.

🔸 No, thanks

🔸 No, thank you

And to put a little bit of intonation in it. So that’s quite easy to do. It gets the point across and people understand it, or you could just say:

🔸 No, sorry, not interested.

For example, somebody sends you a letter, an email or simply knocks on your door. And they’re trying to sell you something. Or they stop you in the street and they want you to contribute to something. In this case, you can just say:

🔸 Sorry, not interested

🔸 Not really

🔸 I’m not sure I want to do that

Other ways of saying NO to invitations in English:

🔸 It’s not my cup of tea

🔸 I’m not into that sort of activity

🔸 It doesn’t float my boat

🔸 It’s not something that I really interested in

🔸 It doesn’t get me overly excited

It’s better than just saying NO, and it’s not in any way rude.

-We’re going bowling next week. Would you like to come?

-Not really. It’s not my cup of tea.

We can also say I’m afraid not. This is a little bit more formal.

-Are you coming to the pub tonight? We’re going to make a night of it.

-I’m afraid not. It’s my turn to babysit.

So you’re letting somebody down gently or trying to refuse in a more gentle way rather than just saying no.

Vocabulary for invitations in English. How to make invitations. How to decline invitations. How to accept invitations. #learnenglish #englishlessons #tienganh #EnglishTeacher #vocabulary #ingles #อังกฤษ #английский #aprenderingles #english #cursodeingles #учианглийский #vocabulário #dicasdeingles #learningenglish #ingilizce #englishgrammar #englishvocabulary #ielts #idiomas

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🔸 I’m afraid not, I’ve got a prior engagement

🔸 I’m afraid not, I’m busy tonight

🔸 I’m afraid not, I’ve just washed my hair

Another way to say no to invitations is with a little bit more emphasis.

🔸 Certainly not

In case somebody asks you something and you’re absolutely sure you’re not going to entertain the idea. You’re not going to allow them to do something, and you’re going to turn down that request flat.

Can I watch the late night movie?

Certainly not. You’ve got school tomorrow.

The other way to put a little bit more emphasis similar to certainly not is no way. No way. So you’re really putting your foot down on making the point very, very clear that you are not doing that or they are not doing that, or there’s no way you’re going to allow that to happen.

The other way of saying no is

🔸 Not in a 1,000,000 years

It means to be a very long time before I agree to that.

Or a real classic:

🔸 I wouldn’t be seen dead in there 

So here are you alternative ways to say NO to requests or invitations in English.

How to Make Invitations in English Politely

Vocabulary for invitations in English. How to make invitations. How to decline invitations. How to accept invitations. #learnenglish #englishlessons #tienganh #EnglishTeacher #vocabulary #ingles #อังกฤษ #английский #aprenderingles #english #cursodeingles #учианглийский #vocabulário #dicasdeingles #learningenglish #ingilizce #englishgrammar #englishvocabulary #ielts #idiomas
  • Are you free next Saturday?
  • Are you busy on Friday?
  • What are you doing on Friday?
  • Would you like to …?
  • I was wondering if you’d like to …
  • Do you fancy … + noun/gerund
  • Are you up for … + noun/gerund
  • Do you feel like … + noun/gerund
  • Are you doing anything on Sunday?
  • Would you like us to bring anything?

How to Accept Informal Invitations in English

  • That would be great
  • That’s very kind of you, thanks
  • That sounds lovely, thank you
  • I’d love to, what time?
  • That’d be fun
  • OK, cool

speak better English with Harry podcast- episode 424

More information

Complete this exercise to check your knowledge:

How to decline an invitation in English

For more information on English grammar rules, English collocations and English idioms, check out the links below:

10 English verbs related to eating

Fixed English expressions about health

10 Ways to say I’M BUSY in English


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