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  • Vanessa: Hi, I'm Vanessa from SpeakEnglishWithVanessa.com.  

  • You're invited to a party. Let's talk about it. Vanessa

  • Oh, hey, are you free this weekend? We're going  to have a party and I would love to hang out.  

  • Huh? We're free. We don't cost anything.  I want to hang out. Are we monkeys?  

  • No. If you've ever been invited to a party in  English, well, you've probably heard these words  

  • before, but can you use them yourself? Do you know  how they're used in real English conversations.  

  • Well, never fear. Today, I would like  to bring you in to a moment where I  

  • invite two of my friends to my son's birthday  party. You're going to see me give them a call,  

  • invite them to his birthday party. And you're  going to hear someone say no, and someone say yes,  

  • and some of the important daily expressions  that we use when declining an invitation and  

  • when accepting an invitation. Like always, I've  created a free PDF worksheet with all of today's  

  • expressions, ideas, sample sentences. And you can  answer Vanessa's challenge question at the bottom  

  • of the free PDF worksheet. So click on the link in  the description to download that worksheet today.  

  • Never forget what you are about to learn. Vanessa

  • Let's start by watching the clip  of me inviting my brother-in-law,  

  • Ben, to my son's birthday party. You're going to  see me give him a call. You're going to hear his  

  • responses and we're going to go over it expression  by expression so that you can speak like this too.  

  • All right. Let's watch the first clip and then  I'll talk about it. Let's watch. All right. Let's  

  • call Ben and see if he can come. Ben

  • Hello? Vanessa

  • Hi, Ben. This is Vanessa. Ben

  • Oh, hey, Vanessa. Vanessa

  • Hey, I was just calling because I was wondering  if, by any chance, you are free on Saturday. We're  

  • having a little birthday party for Freddie. Ben

  • Oh, Freddie's birthday party. Yeah, let me check  my schedule. Yeah, I think we're free. I can bring  

  • the whole family. Vanessa

  • You just heard me say, "I was wondering if by  any chance, are you free on Saturday?" Here I'm  

  • using a couple expressions to make this a little  bit softer. "I was wondering if by any chance,  

  • are you free on Saturday?" I didn't say,  "Hey, are you free on Saturday?" I could  

  • have said this. It would be direct. It would  be fine. He's my brother-in-law. This is not  

  • a professional invitation. This is  just inviting someone from my family.  

  • But instead I decided to make it a little bit  more indirect. "I was wondering if by any chance,  

  • are you free on Saturday?" Let's see how we  can use by any chance in another context

  • Vanessa: By any chance,  

  • can I borrow $10? I forgot my wallet. So you're  probably assuming that the other person has  

  • $10 that you can borrow, but you want to be  polite. You're a little bit hesitant to ask and  

  • you want to just be kind about it. By any chancecan I borrow $10? I forgot my wallet. Thank you

  • Vanessa: And next you heard Ben say this,  

  • "Let me check my schedule." This is extremely  common and it's pretty straightforward. So you can  

  • just copy and paste this into your own vocabularyIf someone invites you to a coffee shop with them,  

  • you could say, "Oh, I'd love to have  coffee with you. Let me check my schedule,  

  • but I think I am free tomorrow." Though you  still want to check, but you kind of think,  

  • "I'll probably be available. Let me check my  schedule, but I think I will be free tomorrow."  

  • You just heard me use the word free. And that's  also what Ben used. He said, "I think we're free."  

  • This is not talking about payment. You might say  that item costs $5 and that item is free. This  

  • is not what we're talking about. We're talking  about available. I'm available, it's kind of a  

  • professional way to say this, but you can just say  it in daily conversation. I'm free. I'm available

  • Vanessa: Let's watch the next  

  • clip of my phone conversation where you're going  to hear three lovely expressions. Let's watch

  • Vanessa: Oh, great. Well, it's going to be  

  • in the morning. I thought before nap time would  probably be best. So it'll be 10:30 to noon-ish.  

  • We'll probably have some lunch at the end. Ben

  • Okay, that sounds great. We're open  the whole day, so we'll be there

  • Vanessa: When I was telling Ben the time of the party,  

  • I said it'll be 10:30 to noon-ish. This little  add-on, ish, is common in daily conversation  

  • when we're talking about something approximateYou might say, "That shirt is red-ish." Maybe  

  • it's kind of pink. Maybe it's kind of a slightly  brownish red. It could be somewhere in between.  

  • It's red-ish, but we often use this for time  as well. The party will end at noon-ish.  

  • If you want to leave early, it's okay. If you  stay a little longer, it's okay, but this is the  

  • general time for the party. 10:30 to noon-ish. Vanessa

  • Then Ben said, "We're open the whole day." He's  not talking about a business that's open. You can  

  • also say this. If you are running a business and  you say, "My shop or my business will be open the  

  • whole day." That means customers can come and  go, but he's not a business. He's just a guy.  

  • So he said, "We are open the whole day." That  means we are free. The expression we talked  

  • about before, or we're available. We have  nothing going on, nothing on the schedule,  

  • nothing on our calendar. We are free  the whole day. We're open the whole day

  • Vanessa: And then he sealed the deal by saying, "We'll be  

  • there." Great. This is an affirmative yes. "We'll  be there." It kind of shows also that you're  

  • committing to this. You're excited about this.  "Oh, I'm so excited that you invited me to  

  • your wedding. I'll be there. I feel so privileged  that you asked me to be part of that special day.  

  • I'll be there." A great phrase. Vanessa

  • All right, let's go on to the next clip where  we'll hear some more wonderful expressions and  

  • then talk about them. Vanessa

  • Cool, cool. And no pressure, you don't need to  bring a present or anything. If you really want  

  • to, Freddie loves food and snacks. You're welcome  to bring him like a little snack, but no pressure  

  • to bring presents. We'd just love to see you guys. Ben

  • Okay, that sounds good. I might bring some donuts.  

  • My favorite donut shop is  down the road, but, you know

  • Vanessa: Okay

  • Ben: I won't bring too much

  • Vanessa: Okay, well, more the merrier. And we'll be glad to  

  • see you. Thanks so much for being able to come. Ben

  • You're welcome. All right, see you later. Vanessa

  • All right. See you Saturday. Bye. Ben

  • Bye. Vanessa

  • In this final clip of our conversation, you  heard three wonderful phrases. You heard us say  

  • this sentence, "No pressure, you don't need  to bring a present or anything." No pressure.  

  • Well, if you have ever been a parent who has  been invited to many birthday parties for your  

  • kids' friends, it can sometimes be a lot of  pressure to choose a present, to always have a  

  • present ready. And oh, you got invited to a party  that's tomorrow. "Oh, I don't have a present."  

  • This could be kind of stressful, but really the  most important thing is that you are at the party.  

  • Your presence is the most important present. So  usually when I invite someone to one of my kids'  

  • birthday parties, I say this, "Hey, no pressureyou don't need to bring a present. Just come to  

  • the party. We'd love to see you." And sometimes  people bring a present still and that's okay,  

  • but it's not a requirement. No pressure. I  just want you to come and enjoy yourself

  • Vanessa: Sometimes for parties,  

  • people ask, "Can I bring anything? Would you like  me to bring anything?" Especially if it's like a  

  • dinner party or something like that. So you might  say, "Oh yes, please bring your own beer." BYOB,  

  • we say. Or, "Please bring your own lawnchair  because we're going to be sitting on the grass. I  

  • don't have enough chairs. Just bring a lawnchair."  Something simple like this. So I suggested you're  

  • welcome to bring him, my son, a little snack or  something. He loves food. So some people feel  

  • a little bit weird about coming to a birthday  party without a present. So I gave a suggestion,  

  • bring him a little snack. He loves food. Solittle snack is kind of the perfect present for  

  • him. He will love it. No pressure. Vanessa

  • The final phrase from my conversation with  Ben is the more the merrier. Usually we use  

  • this when talking about people. The more people  that are at a party, the merrier or the happier,  

  • the more joyful it will be. This is the same  expression as Merry Christmas, the merrier it  

  • will be. But in this conversation, we were talking  about food. Ben suggested bringing some donuts as  

  • a little gift or something to share with other  people at the party. So we're talking about more  

  • food. Oh, the more food, the more the merrierFeel free to bring it. We'd love to have it

  • Vanessa: Well, it doesn't always go so well  

  • when you invite someone to a party, sometimes they  can't come. They decline your invitation. We're  

  • going to be watching a clip where I call my friend  Lauren to invite her to Freddie's birthday party,  

  • but she can't come. You're going to hear some  different phrases and some polite ways to say,  

  • "Sorry, I can't come." All right, let's watch the  first clip of my conversation with her. And then  

  • we'll break it down together. Vanessa

  • All right. We are going to call my friend Lauren  and invite her to Freddie's second birthday party.  

  • Here goes. Lauren

  • Hello? Vanessa

  • Hi, Lauren. It's Vanessa. Lauren

  • Hi, Vanessa. How are you today? Vanessa

  • Oh, I'm doing well. I have some exciting newsThat, as you know, Freddie's going to be two soon  

  • and we're going to have a party. Lauren

  • Oh, wonderful. Vanessa

  • Yeah, so I wanted to invite you and  see if you're free. It's going to be on  

  • Saturday, 10:30 AM till like after lunchtime.  

  • And yeah, are you free to come? Vanessa

  • In this first clip where I invited Lauren to  Freddie's birthday party, I started off by  

  • using the expression here goes before I called  her. I don't know about you, but I sometimes  

  • feel a little bit nervous calling someone on the  phone. It's not because I'm nervous to talk to my  

  • friend. It's more that when I call them, I don't  want to be interrupting whatever they're doing.  

  • Nowadays with texting, it feels a little more  serious to give someone a phone call. So I said,  

  • "Here goes." If you're doing something that you  feel a little bit nervous about, maybe you're  

  • asking someone on a date, you might say, "Okay,  I'm going to do this. I'm going to ask her on  

  • a date. Here goes." Oh, you're kind of preparing  yourself to take some kind of risk and trying to  

  • give yourself some courage. Here goes. Vanessa

  • At the end of this clip, I asked her the question,  "Are you free to come to Freddie's birthday party?  

  • Are you free to come to Freddie's birthday party?"  This is another way to invite someone to an event.  

  • And we're using that same word free a lot, because  this is what's most used in daily conversation.  

  • Are you free to come next Saturday? Are you free  this afternoon? Are you free next month? I was  

  • thinking we could go to the beach together. Are  you free? What a beautiful phrase. All right,  

  • let's watch our next clip where you'll  hear some more wonderful phrases

  • Lauren: I would love to, however,  

  • I will be working during that time. Vanessa

  • Oh. Lauren

  • Yeah. Where I work is open on Saturdays and in  the morning, so unfortunately I'll be working  

  • at that time. Vanessa

  • Oh. Lauren

  • But I would love to get together with you guys  another time to celebrate Freddie's birthday

  • Vanessa: You heard Lauren decline my invitation. She said,  

  • "I would love to, however, I'm going to be working  during that time." I would love to, but the moment  

  • that you hear this phrase, especially that tone of  voice, that kind of sad tone of voice. Oh, I would  

  • love to, but I'm not free tomorrow afternoon. I  would love to, but I'm really busy this week. I  

  • would love to, but... This is a really polite  way to decline an invitation. Sometimes when  

  • we decline an invitation, we want to kind of show  that, "Hey, I still want to see you. I still like  

  • to hang out with you. So let's make alternative  plans." And that's kind of what you heard Lauren  

  • suggesting. She said this phrase, "But I would  love to get together with you guys another time.  

  • I would love to get together another time." This  phrase to get together means just to see each  

  • other, to hang out, to spend time together. Vanessa

  • If you are trying to decline an invitationbut you want to create alternative plans,  

  • you might say, "Hey, yeah, I  would love to hang out tomorrow,  

  • but I'm busy, but I would love to get together  another time. Are you free on Thursday?" Okay,  

  • you can solidify another time to see each other. Vanessa

  • I must say that in the US, we sometimes  don't have a great reputation for  

  • following through. So if someone says, "Oh, I  would love to get together, but I can't, but  

  • maybe we can get together another time," and they  don't make a specific plan, don't be disappointed  

  • if they don't follow up and make another planSometimes we just say this to be polite to show,  

  • "Hey, I still like you. It's nothing personal. I  just can't come to that event." So sometimes we  

  • say, "Yeah, let's get together another timeMaybe over the summer, we can get together."  

  • And if they never call you, don't worry. It's not  personal. Sometimes this is kind of just part of  

  • American culture. Vanessa

  • Let's watch the final clip so that you can see  how we conclude our conversation in some more  

  • wonderful daily English expressions. Let's watch. Vanessa

  • That sounds good. Yeah, I'm sure we'll see you  probably sometime over the next week. And, yeah,  

  • we can get together and have dinner. I meanwhen you're a kid having multiple birthdays is  

  • the norm. You celebrate all month. Lauren

  • And also the dream. Vanessa

  • Yeah, that's the dream. We want to keep  celebrating birthdays again, and again, and again.  

  • Well, sorry you can't comebut hopefully we'll see you  

  • next week at some point. Lauren

  • That would be lovely. Vanessa

  • Okay. Well thanks so much. Have a good morning. Lauren

  • Thank you, you guys too. And please  tell Freddie happy birthday from Lauren

  • Vanessa: I will. Thanks so much. Bye

  • Lauren: You're welcome. Bye

  • Vanessa: Oh, what a bummer.  

  • Well, we see Lauren about once a week, once every  other week. So I'm sure we'll have plenty of time  

  • to celebrate, but bummer she can't come. To  respond to Lauren I said, "That sounds good.  

  • That sounds good." This simply means, "I agree. I  think this is a great idea." You can also use this  

  • in professional situations. If your boss says,  "I'd like you to finish this report by 3:00 PM.  

  • I know you're really busy. Do you think you can  finish it by 3:00 PM?" You could say, "That sounds  

  • good. I can do it." This is agreeing and saying,  "Yes, this is something that I would like." 

  • Vanessa: In this clip you heard me say a really polite  

  • expression. "Sorry, you can't come. Sorry, you  can't come." I'm not saying, "All right, Lauren  

  • can't come. I'm excited." No, I want her to know  that I wish she could come, but you know what? Our  

  • friendship's not over. It's not the end of the  world, but this is a polite thing to say when  

  • someone declines an invitation. "Sorry you can't  come, we'll miss you. Sorry you can't come..."  

  • Or the next expression that we're about to talk  about, "But hopefully we'll see you at some  

  • point next week." At some point. We didn't make  specific plans like, "I will see you on Tuesday."  

  • Instead, I said at some point. Now, because Lauren  is my close friend, I'm not trying to just say  

  • something nice. Instead, we will see each other at  some point next week, just over that phone call.  

  • We didn't make a specific plan. I'm not being the  American stereotype in that situation and pushing  

  • her off. But this is a polite thing to say, "Heywe'll get together at some point. Don't worry  

  • about it. Enjoy what you've got going on." Vanessa

  • And the final expression I said is, "Whatbummer. Bummer she can't come." This expression,  

  • what a bummer or just bummer, iskind of casual or slang way to say,  

  • "That's a shame." Now that's a shame is pretty  strong. So in daily conversation for something  

  • like this, that's kind of light. It's not too  serious. You can say, "Oh, what a bummer. She  

  • can't come." Let's look at these two phrases  because I want to make sure you can use each of  

  • these accurately grammatically. What a bummer  that you can't come to Disney World with us.  

  • Or, bummer that you can't come to Disney World  with us. You can use just the word bummer,  

  • or you can say what a bummer you can't come  to Disney World with us. We'll miss you

  • Vanessa: So by any chance, did you  

  • learn how to accept and decline an invitation in  English during today's lesson? I hope so. Don't  

  • forget to download the free PDF worksheet that  goes with today's lesson so that you can accept  

  • and decline an invitation in English naturally  and politely. There's a link in the description  

  • so that you can download the PDF today. Vanessa

  • And now I have a question for you. Are you  free this weekend to come to my son's birthday  

  • party? Let me know in the comments. You can  accept or decline my invitation and you can