accepting an invitation


Senior Member

I met some people who I believe wish to invite me to dinner.

I'd love to accept- but how would I do this, in keeping with their cultural norms? Should I refuse at first, as I would a gift?

If I really intend to accept- what can I say? ( in pinyin please)

  • DanielChina

    New Member
    It is really an interesting topic. It reminds me of a book I read on cross-cultural communication, especially Eastern-Western communication.

    Chinese people usually refuse gifts at first, it is because in Chinese culture we think it is good courtesy and polite not to give trouble or add extra expenditure for others, especially your close ones. Actually, I think it is another kind of care and consideration for the inviters or givers.

    However, things have changed these days, especially among the younger generation, those well-educated or those with exposure to Western culture. When we get invitations and we know they are sincere, we will accept the invitation and express our appreciation and thanks. I think this is pretty much the same as the Western people. Actually I doubt if there are people refusing invitation (sincere ones, not for other reasons) for the old custom of good courtesy nowadays in China.

    As for gifts, it depends. For small gifts, it is ok to accept and express your appreciation. For very expensive and valuable gifts, people still refuse at first, unless the giver is determined to give.

    For the situation you described, my advice is accept it happily and do not refuse. If you refuse the invitation, I think you will run the risk of causing your friends think you do not like them or do not want to be together with them.

    When you accept the invitation, you can tell them“我很高兴接受你们的邀请,谢谢(wo hen gao xing jie shou ni men de yao qing, xie xie. In English it is “I am very happy to accept your invitation, thank you”.


    Mandarin - Chinese
    To accept their invintation, you should first refuse them. Normally, if the inviters really want you to participate in, they will continue to invite you. at that time, you could say the word which DanielChina recommends you, in addition, if you have a very good relationship with them, you can also use this: 那就恭敬不如从命啦. (na jiu gong jing bu ru cong ming la)

    wish it could help!:)


    Senior Member
    I think you shouldn't refuse first and wait for a second invitation.
    Since you are not Chinese, I guess they are not expecting you to respond in a Chinese way, and won't think that you are rude or else to accept in the first time.


    New Member
    I think the explanation by Daniel is good enough. So far, you only have to reply by say that you apreciate their invitation and i'd like to go. You can just say "谢谢你们的邀请,我很乐意去。 (Pinyin)Xiexie ni men de yaoqing, wo hen leyi qu"

    You can bring a little gift with you when you go so as to show your apreciation and your thankfulness.
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