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Урок 10. Making polite invitations. (Вежливое приглашение.)

William: Hello and welcome to How to… the programme from BBC Learning English where we give you useful language for some everyday situations. My name’s William Kremer. Now you may remember that in a different programme we found out how to invite people informally, by saying things like:

Examples

Diarmuid: Are you up for a pint after work Catherine?

William: Today, we’re looking at making invitations again, but this time they’re going to be a little bit more formal. Let’s start by listening to a short clip. Diarmuid is inviting Catherine to a barbeque, which is a kind of meal you can cook outside, usually in the summer.

Examples

Diarmuid: Catherine, are you free on Friday?

Catherine: I think so. Why?

Diarmuid: Well, I’m going to have a barbeque on Friday night, in my back garden – I wondered if you’d like to come along.

Catherine: Yeah, I’d love to. That sounds really nice.

Diarmuid: OK, you’re not vegetarian are you?

Catherine: No, no I’m not.

Diarmuid: Ah, you’ll be fine with burgers.

William: Would you like to hear that clip again? Would you like to hear it now? Well, I’ll play it again a bit later, but first I want to look at this phrase, ‘Would you like?’ ‘Would you like…’ means ‘Do you want?’ but it’s slightly more polite. So a slightly more polite way of saying ‘Do you want a banana?’ is:

Examples

Elena: Would you like a banana?

William: …and a slightly more polite way of saying ‘Do you want to come for a drink?’ is

Examples

Elena: Would you like to come for a drink?

William: So, ‘Would you like to do something?’ is a very good way of asking questions politely. But, usually when we’re being polite, we try and make what we say longer by using other phrases. Listen to Diarmuid:

Examples

Diarmuid: I wondered if you’d like to come along

William: Diarmuid says, ‘I wondered if you’d like to come along’, which is a shortened way of saying ‘I wondered if you would like to come along’ but it’s sometimes hard to hear the ‘-d’, ‘I wondered if you’d like to come along’. ‘To wonder’, means ‘to think’ or ‘to ask yourself’ but the meaning of the word isn’t that important here; Diarmuid is just using the phrase to be polite. Let’s practise using this phrase, ‘I wondered if you’d like’. You’re going to hear Elena. After she says a direct question, see if you can change it into a sentence beginning, ‘I wondered if you’d like’. You’ll hear the correct answer after a short pause.

Elena: Would you like a chocolate bar?… I wondered if you’d like a chocolate bar…. Would you like to come for a drink?… I wondered if you’d like to come for a drink… Would you like to see my photos?… I wondered if you’d like to see my photos.

William: How did you do? By the way, you can also say, ‘I was wondering if you’d like….’ It has exactly the same meaning.

Elena: I was wondering if you’d like to see my photos.

William: I was wondering if you’d like to hear the whole conversation between Catherine and Diarmuid again…. You would? OK, here it is:

Examples

Diarmuid: Catherine, are you free on Friday?

Catherine: I think so. Why?

Diarmuid: Well, I’m going to have a barbeque on Friday night, in my back garden – I wondered if you’d like to come along.

Catherine: Yeah, I’d love to. That sounds really nice.

Diarmuid: OK, you’re not vegetarian are you?

Catherine: No, no I’m not.

Diarmuid: Ah, you’ll be fine with burgers.

William: Did you hear the question that Diarmuid asked Catherine at the beginning:

Examples

Diarmuid: Catherine, are you free on Friday?

William: Diarmuid asked Catherine if she was ‘free’ on Friday. He’s checking that she isn’t busy. Another way of checking is to ask the opposite question: ‘Are you doing anything on Friday?’ Hopefully, whoever you’re speaking to won’t be doing anything! Or, you could just ask ‘What are you doing on Friday?’ Now, before we finish, let’s hear a different conversation. This time, Diarmuid is asking Catherine to a dinner party.

Examples

Diarmuid: What are you doing on Friday, Catherine?

Catherine: Er, I’m not sure yet. I might be going out but I haven’t made any firm plans. Why?

Diarmuid: OK, well I’m going to have a dinner party at my house and I would very much like it if you could come along.

Catherine: Oh right, yes I’d love to. Is it a formal occasion?

Diarmuid: No, it’s just a few old friends really. You’ll… you’ll… you’ll have a good time, you’ll like the people. About nine o’clock?

Catherine: That’d be lovely. Shall I bring a bottle?

Diarmuid: Oh I think so…!

Catherine: OK then!

William: This time, Diarmuid says ‘I would very much like it if you could come along’. This is very polite and very friendly, because it shows Catherine that her coming to his party is important to him.

Examples

Diarmuid: And I would very much like it if you could come along.

William: When Catherine says ‘Shall I bring a bottle?’, she’s offering to take a bottle of wine to Diarmuid’s dinner party.

Examples

Catherine: That’d be lovely. Shall I bring a bottle?

William: You can listen to both the conversations in this programme again on the How to… webpage on BBC Learning English dot com, where you can also find out more about today’s phrases. The next episode of How to will be published next Wednesday…. and I would very much like it if you could come along. Goodbye