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    • Join Date: Nov 2006
    • Posts: 90
    #1

    rejecting an invitation

    Hello,

    When you want to reject an invitation to a party, do you say "Sorry, but I have a previous engagement"? Is the phrase old-fashioned? If so, what do you say instead?

    Thank you

  1. bianca's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Swedish
      • Home Country:
      • Sweden
      • Current Location:
      • Sweden

    • Join Date: Apr 2007
    • Posts: 1,044
    #2

    Re: rejecting an invitation

    Your phrase doesn't sound old-fashioned to me. On the contrary, it is formal and courteous. It stresses that you have already made a commitment to someone else.


    • Join Date: Nov 2006
    • Posts: 90
    #3

    Re: rejecting an invitation

    Bianca, thank you but I need an answer from a native speaker.


    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 2,886
    #4

    Re: rejecting an invitation

    Quote Originally Posted by Morpheus View Post
    Bianca, thank you but I need an answer from a native speaker.
    engagement

    Morpheus, what makes you think a native knows this better than Bianca?
    She is good enough in the language to form accurate judgement on basic English usage like this one you put in, and I am sure you have realized that.

    Bianca, you seem to have a very similar choice of words to that of Clive in EF.

  2. bianca's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Swedish
      • Home Country:
      • Sweden
      • Current Location:
      • Sweden

    • Join Date: Apr 2007
    • Posts: 1,044
    #5

    Re: rejecting an invitation

    Thank you, Svartnik

    Morpheus: I understand you.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #6

    Re: rejecting an invitation

    However, as a native speaker, I will happily agree with Bianca that it is the correct and courteous means of refusing something, but one that is not used as much as it used to be.


    • Join Date: Nov 2006
    • Posts: 90
    #7

    Re: rejecting an invitation

    Quote Originally Posted by svartnik View Post
    She is good enough in the language to form accurate judgement on basic English usage like this one you put in, and I am sure you have realized that.
    I also know English good enough to come to the same conclusions as Bianca (I am an English language teacher myself :) and I have heaps of dictionaries at hand but what I am interested in is the frequency of certain words in everyday speech of the people living nowadays in Britain and the US. No dictionary and no non-native speaker can give me this information. I am editing an old Russian text-book, you see...

    P.S. Bianca, your English is perfect. Thanks for your contribution!
    Last edited by Morpheus; 22-Jul-2007 at 22:23.


    • Join Date: Nov 2006
    • Posts: 90
    #8

    Re: rejecting an invitation

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    one that is not used as much as it used to be.
    That's exactly what I wanted to know! Thank you!


    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 2,886
    #9

    Re: rejecting an invitation

    Hello Morpheus,

    Quote Originally Posted by Morpheus View Post
    I am editing an old Russian text-book, you see...
    Yes, I see. By the way, what is your intention with saying this to me? What relevance does it bear to the matter at hand?
    My only reading into it is that although the case is this you still have to ask for help with certain usages of the English language.


    Quote Originally Posted by Morpheus View Post
    No dictionary and no non-native speaker can give me this information...
    Do you think so?
    This is not what I have always experienced so far.
    I met non-natives in fora, not one, who are right up there with those whom you follow blindly, and who sometimes run rings around them.

    Let me tell you something.
    I answered a question here in this forum sometime in the past. The poster did not answer back but put in the very same question once more with a 'warning': "(P)lease refrain from posting until a native speaker has done so!"
    Then he had the nerve talking about manners when I sent him to hell.
    In a nutshell, some member's blind acceptance of (presumed) authority coming from natives and (sometimes rude) rejection of non-native's helping hand is a clear and unfortunate tendency that creates an atmosphere I have not managed to come to terms with.
    Others may have different views.

    Cheers
    S
    Last edited by svartnik; 23-Jul-2007 at 06:50.


    • Join Date: Nov 2006
    • Posts: 90
    #10

    Re: rejecting an invitation

    Svartnik, once again: I need only native speakers not because I don't respect non-natives but because of the peculiarity of my work. I need to turn an old text-book into a modern one, so I don't need explanations what this or that expression means, I need to know whether the expression is still widely used in the UK and the US.

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