Let's / Let us!!

TheFury

New Member
Arabic
Hi :)

I have a question about let's and let us.
What is the difference between these two sentences?

1-Let us go to the restaurant.
2-Let's go to the restaurant.

---

In the tag question, I think we should use shall we with let's, and will you with let us.

Can you tell me what is the difference in the meaning.

thanks.
 
  • JamesM

    Senior Member
    To my American English ear, "Let us go to the restaurant" means "Allow us to go to the restaurant", while "let's go to the restaurant" is a suggestion to a group of people of the idea of going to the restaurant or a softened command to start heading towards the restaurant - a gentle nudge in that direction.

    "Shall we" would be formal and polite. If someone were on their best behavior I can imagine them saying "shall we?" Otherwise it would not be commonly heard here, in my experience.

    The "will you" tag with "let us" is an emphasis of the request to allow us to leave. It can be a sign of impatience, annoyance or even urgency.
     

    Ynez

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    But there is a problem with all this. In formal written language nothing is contracted, then "let's" becomes "let us".
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    But there is a problem with all this. In formal written language nothing is contracted, then "let's" becomes "let us".
    This is true. However, I doubt that I'm going to be reading "let us go to the restaurant" in a formal written document. :) If I did, the context of a formal written document alone would let me know that I need to consider multiple options for the meaning of "let us."
     

    haywire

    Senior Member
    US - English
    But there is a problem with all this. In formal written language nothing is contracted, then "let's" becomes "let us".
    That's not completely true. The tides are starting to change (again) on the subject of contractions in "formal" writing. I run across journals on a regular basis where the authors of the studies use them. A handful of professors I had also encouraged their moderate usage as it makes the papers less arduous to read and presents a "normal" flow since most of us think in contractions anyway. But that's a whole different discussion.

    With that said, I don't think I'd ever say "Let us go to..." instead of "Let's go to..." unless I was being dramatic. Not to say it's incorrect, it just wouldn't sound good to me.
     

    Ynez

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    That's something that even we foreigners learn always contracted. That's why I made the comment, because it would be normal if somebody does not recognize "let us" as the authentic form of "let's".

    I think I'll miss texts without contractions if they ever disappear...:)
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Hi TheFury

    Don't forget that the WRF rules ask you to check first whether your question has been covered in a previous thread.

    Such as this one;)
     
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