A Dinner Invitation 晚餐邀请
About this lesson
In this lesson you will learn:
- How to accept an invitation to a dinner
- How to compliment your host’s home
- How to offer help preparing the meal
- How to discuss dietary restrictions in a polite manner
You will also learn about the culture of dinner parties in the US, including common foods and drinks,appropriate gifts to bring the host, appropriate table manners, and the saying of Grace.
A beautiful home
Thank you so much for inviting me over for dinner!
I love your antique furniture, it’s just gorgeous!
Dinner should be ready in half an hour, so just make yourself at home.
You have a truly beautiful home.
What to bring to a dinner party
As in many world cultures, it’s polite in the United States to bring a gift to your host when accepting a dinner invitation. Unlike in some cultures, it’s not a social requirement, and you won’t offend your host if you arrive empty-handed. However it’s a common practice that shows your graciousness and appreciation for the invitation.
A bottle of nice wine is the most common gift to bring to a dinner, followed by fresh flowers. Sometimes people bring accompanying dishes such as a salad or dessert. This is generally acceptable, but not as commonly done, as it could interfere with the host’s planned menu, or even be taken as a slight against the hosts’s abilities and level of preparation.
How can I help?
Is there anything I can do to help get dinner ready?
I’m happy to help any way I can!
I could use some help chopping onions if you don’t mind.
And I’d love to get your help making the salad.
Just about ready
Everyone have a seat, dinner’s just about ready.
Who wants to say grace?
“Grace” refers to the prayer that many American families say before they eat. Usually, everyone at the table holds hands and bows their head, then one person (usually the father or head of the household) says a prayer aloud, thanking God for the food and company. As a guest, you won’t be expected to lead the prayer, but you should be ready to clasp hands with your neighbors and bow your head, to show respect.
Everyone dig in while it’s still hot!
Pass the butter
Could someone please pass me the butter?
If anyone needs more wine let me know, I’ll be glad to pour you some!
Would you like a glass of wine with your meal?
Actually I don’t drink, but thank you, that’s very generous.
I’m a vegetarian
You should really try the steak, it’s so tender, it’s delicious!
Thank you, it looks wonderful!
I definitely would, except that I’m a vegetarian.
There’s plenty of green beans left, can I serve you some?
Thank you, but I’m pretty stuffed.
*Usage alert!*: Note that “to be stuffed” has a very different meaning in American English than in British English. In America it’s simply a colloquial way to say that you’ve had plenty to eat. The British meaning is vulgar, so be aware of that if travelling to the UK.
Everything tasted delicious, thank you so much for having me!
Sure, it was our pleasure.
Don’t you touch the dishes, we’ll take care of those later.
For now let’s just relax and enjoy each other’s company!