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Урок 18. Declining invitations. (Отказ от приглашения.)

William: Hello and welcome to How to… the programme from BBC Learning English that helps you find the words for some everyday situations.

My name’s William Kremer. In recent programmes we’ve been talking about how to make and accept invitations. Listen to this clip. It’s of Diarmuid inviting Catherine to have a pint of beer with him after work:

Examples
Diarmuid: Do you fancy going for a pint, Catherine?
Catherine: Ooh I’d love to, what time?

William: Catherine says that she’d love to go, so she’s accepting Diarmuid’s invitation. But what does Catherine say when I ask her out for a drink?

Example
Catherine: Ah William, I’d love to but I’m really busy right now.

William: Catherine says ‘I’d love to but I’m really busy right now’. So Catherine can’t come for a drink because she’s really busy. She’s declining my invitation – she’s saying ‘no’ to my invitation. Now, the language of that clip is very similar to the clip where she accepts Diarmuid’s invitation. In both clips, she says ‘I’d love to…’. But there are two clues that tell you that she is declining my invitation. Firstly, her tone of voice – she sounds very sad. Secondly, she says that she’s really busy. This is the reason why she can’t come out for a drink with me. Listen again.

Example
Catherine: Ah William, I’d love to but I’m really busy right now.

William: When we decline invitations, it’s polite to give a reason why we can’t accept them. In the next clip, what is the reason why Hina can’t come for a drink with me?

Example
Hina: Oh Will, I’d like to but I’m actually going to the cinema with a friend after work.

William: Well, she said ‘I’d like to but I’m actually going to the cinema’.

Example
Hina: Oh Will, I’d like to but I’m actually going to the cinema with a friend after work

William: So, that’s a very simple way to decline an invitation – ‘I’d like to but…’ or ‘I’d love to but…’ Practise declining some invitations using these words, but be sure to give a good reason… ‘I’d like to but I’m actually going to watch TV’ is not a good way to decline an invitation!

So, so far I haven’t had much luck finding someone to have a drink with me. After Hina declined my invitation, I asked Callum if he wanted a pint after work…

Example
Callum: Oh, no, sorry. I’ve got to meet someone then. Maybe another time?

William: He said, ‘I’ve got to meet someone.’ ‘I’ve got to’ is an informal way of saying ‘I have to’, so Callum can’t come for a drink because he has to meet someone later. I don’t know if I believe Callum, but if he is telling the truth then he has no choice: he’s got to meet someone so he can’t come for a drink with me.

Example
Callum: Oh, no, sorry. I’ve got to meet someone then. Maybe another time?

William: Notice that in English it isn’t rude to say ‘no’ if you can’t do something. In fact, it’s often best to be clear when we’re making arrangements. But Callum does say ‘sorry’ which is polite when we’re declining an invitation. What’s the phrase that he uses at the end?

Example
Callum: Oh, no, sorry. I’ve got to meet someone then. Maybe another time?

William: Callum says ‘Maybe another time’. He’s suggesting that we go for a drink on another day, when he isn’t busy… ‘Maybe another time’. If I often go for a drink after work, he could also say ‘Maybe next time’.

Now, if I asked Callum to come to my wedding, I do hope he wouldn’t say –

Example
Callum: Oh, no, sorry. I’ve got to meet someone then. Maybe another time?

William: In general, if you decline an invitation to a bigger or a more important event, you will probably take longer to explain why you can’t come and to show how much you’d like to come if only you could. Listen to how he declines my invitation.

Example
Tim: I’d love to Will, but sadly I’m actually going out for a meal with my girlfriend. I really appreciate the invite, but sorry – I can’t make it.

William: Tim sounds so sad that I almost believe his excuse! Tim also uses two useful phrases:

Example
Tim: I really appreciate the invite, but sorry – I can’t make it.

William: I really appreciate the invite – that’s like saying – ‘Thanks for inviting me’. Tim’s using ‘invite’ as a noun, instead of the word ‘invitation’. This is very informal, modern English. I really appreciate the invite, he says, but sorry, I can’t make it. ‘I can’t make it’ is also informal English, and it means ‘I can’t come to a meeting or an event’. I can’t make it.

So what do you think? Do I need to find some new friends? I mean, when one person declines your invitation it’s a bit disappointing, but when four people do it in a row, you start to worry… Maybe it’s something I said, or maybe I did something that they didn’t like or maybe…