Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Becky: Politely Declining an Invitation in English. Becky here.
John: Hi, I'm John.
Becky: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to politely decline an invitation. The conversation takes place at an office.
John: It's between Linda and John Sullivan.
Becky: The speakers are co-workers, therefore, they will speak informal English. Okay, let's listen to the conversation.
DIALOGUE
Linda: Do you have time tonight? We're having a little party for Mr. Handerson.
John Sullivan: I'm really sorry, but I have another commitment tonight.
Linda: I see, don't worry, maybe some other time
John Sullivan: I won't miss it next time. Have a nice evening.
Linda: We will, thank you.
Becky: Listen to the conversation one more time, slowly.
Linda: Do you have time tonight? We're having a little party for Mr. Handerson.
John Sullivan: I'm really sorry, but I have another commitment tonight.
Linda: I see, don't worry, maybe some other time
John Sullivan: I won't miss it next time. Have a nice evening.
Linda: We will, thank you.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Becky: We’ve spoken about social invites, and formal company parties, but are there any other type of activities that co-workers might have to do?
John: You mean other than work?
Becky: Of course! We know they have to work.
John: One thing that is becoming increasingly popular in American companies is team-building exercises.
Becky: What is a team-building exercise?
John: It’s an activity that employees of a company do together, usually away from the office.
Becky: Its purpose is to build the working relationships between co-workers.
John: I’m not sure that always works though!
Becky: What type of activities do employees do?
John: It can be a physically active thing, such as hiking or treasure hunts.
Becky: Are there less demanding ones?
John: Yeah, some companies might get people doing building activities or tabletop games.
Becky: Okay, now onto the vocab.
VOCAB LIST
Becky: Let’s take a look at the vocabulary from this lesson. The first word is...
John: time [natural native speed]
Becky: time as measured in hours and minutes
John: time [slowly - broken down by syllable]
John: time [natural native speed]
Becky: Next, we have...
John: party [natural native speed]
Becky: a social get together, often to celebrate something
John: party [slowly - broken down by syllable]
John: party [natural native speed]
Becky: Next up is...
John: another [natural native speed]
Becky: one in addition
John: another [slowly - broken down by syllable]
John: another [natural native speed]
Becky: Next, there’s...
John: commitment [natural native speed]
Becky: something you agreed to do
John: commitment [slowly - broken down by syllable]
John: commitment [natural native speed]
Becky: Next, we have...
John: to worry [natural native speed]
Becky: to feel concerned about something
John: to worry [slowly - broken down by syllable]
John: to worry [natural native speed]
Becky: And lastly...
John: to see [natural native speed]
Becky: to be aware of
John: to see [slowly - broken down by syllable]
John: to see [natural native speed]
KEY VOCAB AND PHRASES
Becky: Let's have a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson. The first word is...
John: commitment
Becky: ...meaning "something you agreed to do."
Becky: This is a noun.
John: It means to have an already existing obligation or plan.
Becky: It’s a slightly formal expression.
John: You often hear “commitment” paired with “prior” to make the phrase “prior commitment.”
Becky: You use this to say that you have an already existing plan for that time. Can you give us an example using this word?
John: Sure. For example, you can say “If you don't have any prior commitments, please join us on Sunday.”
Becky: Okay, what's the next word?
John: some other time
Becky: ...meaning "at a later time."
Becky: So this phrase is made up of three words.
John: The first is the determiner “some,” which means an unspecified amount.
Becky: The next word is “other,” which is an adjective that means an object that isn’t already being spoken about.
John: So we use this to talk about a time that isn’t now.
Becky: We can’t do something now, but could at a different time.
John: You often use this when you decline invitations.
Becky: Can you give us an example using this word?
John: Sure. For example, you can say “I'm busy on Sunday, so maybe some other time.”
Becky: Okay, now onto the lesson focus.

Lesson focus

Becky: In this lesson, you'll learn about how to politely decline an invitation. In the last lesson, we learned about making and accepting invitations.
John: We said that we’d learn how to decline invitations in a later lesson...
Becky: ...so let’s learn about that now! The main thing to remember is to always be polite.
John: Yes, be thankful for the invite, and show regret that you can’t go.
Becky: How do we politely decline?
John: As always, you should say “thank you.”
Becky: You really can’t say “thank you” enough sometimes!
John: And then follow that up by declining. “Thank you for the kind invite, but I can’t attend.”
Becky: “Thanks for the invite, but I can’t make it.”
John: That example from Becky is kind of informal, but would still be okay to use in most circumstances.
Becky: Although these sentences are polite, it might be seen as a little rude if you don’t give a reason why you are declining the invitation.
John: The reason doesn’t have to be specific, but you should say something.
Becky: The most common reason is being busy.
John: Right, you can say “I already have plans,” or “I’m already doing something that day.”
Becky: It might be that your reason for declining is that you don’t want to go, but whatever you do, don’t say that!
John: No! Just say “I’m busy,” or something like that. Nobody will question you.
Becky: After apologizing and giving a reason, you should show regret that you can’t go.
John: Make it sound like you want to go, even if you don’t.
Becky: Let’s hear an example of what you can say.
John: “Sorry, I can’t make it, maybe next time.”
Becky: “Sounds like it’ll be great, I’m sad to miss it.”
John: “I hope you all have a great time!”
Becky: “Some other time, maybe.”

Outro

Becky: Okay, that’s all for this lesson and this series.
John: We hope you enjoyed it and found it useful.
Becky: Thank you for listening, everyone, and we’ll see you in another series! Bye!
John: See you!

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