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    #1

    invitation or offer

    hi

    could you please make it clear for me whether this sentence is an invitation or an offer?

    "would you like a ride to the university?"

    and could you please tell me how we can distingush such sentences?

    thank you

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: invitation or offer

    Both; it's an invitation that implies an offer. Depending on the context, it might also be a proposition.


    b

  2. #3

    Re: invitation or offer

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Both; it's an invitation that implies an offer. Depending on the context, it might also be a proposition.


    b
    I would say this is an offer. An invitation is used in different contexts. 'Please come in and have a coffee' is more like an invitation.

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: invitation or offer

    Quote Originally Posted by rosa87 View Post
    hi

    could you please make it clear for me whether this sentence is an invitation or an offer?

    "would you like a ride to the university?"

    and could you please tell me how we can distingush such sentences?

    thank you
    "Invitation" and "offer" are not always synonymous, but they are in this case. The person is offering a ride and inviting you to come with him, at the same time.

  4. #5

    Re: invitation or offer

    "and could you please tell me how we can distingush such sentences?"

    That's the tricky bit. You have chosen a sentence where invitation and offer is not so clear cut. Offer is likely to be somewhat more impersonal than an invitation but even then it depends on the context.

    'Do you fancy staying over tonight?'
    'This is one invitation I cannot refuse'.

    'We would like you to come to dinner with us next week'
    'Thanks for the invitation but I will be in London'.

    'We have a space on the Paris trip if you're interested?'
    'Thanks for the offer but I am going to Rome that week.'

    'Do you want another tea cake?'
    'Oh go on then if you're offering.'

    Some people might argue over these but it should give you a guide. There are of course different senses to both words where ONLY one or the other would be correct.

  5. BobK's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: invitation or offer

    ... and when you say 'somewhat more impersonal' it's worth adding that a very formal invitation is issued (and answered) in the 3rd person:

    Dick and Alice Smith request the presence of Jo Bloggs Esq. at the wedding of their daughter ....

    or even the passive; to quote Fred Astaire 'your presence [is] requested....'; but that's from Top Hat - which suggests the very high degree of formality of such an invitation. The response isn't 'I'd love to come - looking forward to seeing you' but 'Jo Bloggs is pleased to accept...'. A very formal refusal takes the form 'Mr Otis regrets...'.

    b

  6. #7

    Re: invitation or offer

    Indeed - a good point.

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