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Lesson Transcript

Welcome to EnglishClass101.com’s English in Three Minutes. The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn English.
Hey everyone, I’m Alisha!
In this series, we’re going to learn some easy ways to ask and answer common questions in English. It’s really useful, and it only takes three minutes!
In this lesson, you’re going to learn how to ask someone to do something with you on the weekend in natural and casual English.
So we’re nearly at the end of our English in Three Minutes series, and by now you should have a range of incredibly useful, natural, and idiomatic English conversation phrases stored up! In this lesson we’ll build on all we’ve learned in order to invite someone to do something with you in a way that doesn’t cause embarrassment if they say no.
Asking someone straight out “Do you want to go to a movie this weekend?” is a good strategy if you’re already friends or have an established relationship. However, if you’ve just met someone and don’t know them too well yet, it can be hard to judge whether they’re open to doing something social with you or not.
So there’s a way to ask this question in an indirect way which spares you any embarrassment should they say no!
Instead of saying “Do you want to do something this weekend?” Ask:
“Do you have any plans for the weekend?”
Be sure to ask this casually. Your body language and facial expression are also important. If the person feels like you’re putting pressure on them to say that they’re free, they may feel uncomfortable.
“The weekend” in English usually includes Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday.
So they might respond like this:
“I’m going out with my friends on Friday and shopping on Sunday, but I’m not doing anything on Saturday.”
“Not doing anything on Saturday” is a neutral version of saying “I’m free on Saturday”. Saying “I’m free on Saturday” signals to the other person that you would be actively open to doing something with them then, so be careful if you’re answering this question.
Here’s your chance to ask the person if they want to go to a movie, for example. Instead of asking directly, say:
“I was thinking of going to see that new movie on Saturday. Do you feel like coming along?”
“Do you feel like?” is a more indirect way of asking “Do you want to?”
How to respond to an invitation like this?
If you want to go, then you can say:
“Sure! That sounds great.”
And then you can follow this up with:
“What time and where?”
This is a very useful phrase for when you want to casually ask about time and place, so I would memorize it!
However, what do you do if you want to refuse an invitation like this without hurting the person’s feelings?
Well, instead of saying “no” straight out, it’s best to say that you’re “not sure”. First of all though, say something like:
“That sounds really fun, but...”
Then add:
“I’m not sure if I can. Can I take a rain check?”
This phrase “take a rain check” is a useful American idiom that means “postpone plans”.
Now it’s time for Alisha’s Advice!
In this lesson we took care not to be too forward when asking someone to do something, but of course this all depends on the personality of the person you’re asking. If they’re a friendly, forward person, you don’t have to worry so much about being too direct - just say “Do you wanna see a movie this weekend?” But even in this situation, a good tip is to add in the super-useful word “maybe” to take some pressure off: “Do you maybe wanna see a movie this weekend?”
You've learned a lot about how to ignore your textbook and speak natural, casual English in this series. In our last lesson, we'll take it to the extreme! What do I mean? Find out in the next English in 3 Minutes Lesson! See you next time!