a family engagement

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Silver

Senior Member
Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
Hi,

I wonder if I can call "the gathering with my family members" a "family engagement", as in:

-Are you available tonight?
-Sorry, I have a family engagement.

I guess I can, but maybe it's more formal than "gathering".

Thanks a lot
 
  • Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    You could, but it doesn't mean a family gathering. It could be an appointment with the nursing home to find a place for your demented great aunt.

    PS I'm referring to the initial question.
     

    Silver

    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    Hello, Andy. Do you mean that "family engagement" means "nursing home stuff" rather than "family gathering"? But, Loob said I can say that.

    Is that a regional difference?
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    "Family engagement" means you're committed to doing something related to your family. It could be almost anything. An appointment at a nursing home, as Andy says. A funeral. The obligation to pick your cousin up from the railway station. Etcetera. Etcetera.

    There's no regional difference.
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Hi,

    I wonder if I can call "the gathering with my family members" a "family engagement", as in:

    -Are you available tonight?
    -Sorry, I have a family engagement.

    I guess I can, but maybe it's more formal than "gathering".

    Thanks a lot
    I think it is quite good -- it can cover any number or prior commitments to your family. PLUS - it saves you feeling you have to explain your great-aunty's medical condition since sets it up as a formal event or a responsibility which you cannot wriggle out of. The other person would have to be quite pushy to ask you for more detail once you said this!
     
    Last edited:

    Silver

    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    I just want to use "I have a family engagement" to convey the meaning "I have something to do with my family, but I don't want to say what to do". So, where's the great aunt from?

    And according to Loob, I guess I can say so. I also think that "engagement" is general, covers any possibilities. But, still, where does the great aunt come from?
     
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