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  1. Key Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: Nov 2006
    • Posts: 1,802
    #1

    I won't keep you

    "Bo, please stay and have dinner with us."

    "Tom, sorry, I cannot make it because I get something important to do in the office."

    "Alright, Tom, in that case I won't keep you."
    __________________________________________________ ___________

    Is I won't keep you the correct phrase to express Bo will not force Tom to have dinner with her.

    Ju

  2. 5jj's Avatar
    VIP Member
    Retired English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #2

    Re: I won't keep you

    Quote Originally Posted by Ju View Post
    "Bo, please stay and have dinner with us."

    "Tom, sorry, I cannot make it because I get 've got something important to do in the office."

    "Alright, Tom Bo, in that case I won't keep you."
    __________________________________________________ ___________

    Is I won't keep you the correct phrase to express Bo will not force Tom to have dinner with her?
    It's simply a way of saying that Bo is free to leave at any time - Tom will make no attempt to detain him/her. In the right context, it could be taken as an encouragement for him/her to leave.

  3. BobK's Avatar
    Harmless drudge
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 16,037
    #3

    Re: I won't keep you

    Polite forms: 'I won't keep you' => Go as soon as you like - it's up to you; 'You'd better get moving then' => I don't think you should stay

    b

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