Refuse an invitation

Discussion in 'English Only' started by sdcp, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. sdcp Senior Member

    Hungarian, Slovakia
    If I want to politely and formally refuse an invitation for a dinner and write at the end that maybe next time I'll accept it, what should I write:

    Maybe next time I'll be happy to accept your invitation???

    Any ideas?

    Thanks for your help!
  2. Dimcl Senior Member

    British Columbia, Canada
    Canadian English
    No, that implies that you might be happy to accept and you might not be happy to accept. It sounds quite "picky and choosy" to tell you the truth. To be honest, I wouldn't make that reference at all. You've been invited and you chose not to attend, for whatever reason. To say that you might accept the invitation next time assumes that you'll be invited another time. Maybe you won't.:)

    I would simply send my regrets and thank them very kindly for thinking of you.

    Edit: You might say something like:

    "I'm very sorry that I can't accept your kind invitation but perhaps we can get together at another time".

    If you must refer to a future dinner, this is probably the way to go.
  3. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    The City of New York
    USA - English
    A formal invitation is one that is written in the third person. It might say:

    Mr. and Mrs. Charles Cornwall
    request the pleasure of
    Mr. SDCP's
    company at dinner
    on March 13th, 2008
    at eight o'clock in the evening.

    One declines in the same form:
    Mr. SDCP
    regrets he is unable to accept
    Mr. and Mrs. Charles Cornwall's
    kind invitation for dinner...

    If the invitation is not in this form, it is not a "formal" invitation. An "informal" regret would usually be written as a note. For example:

    Dear Camilla,
    I am very sorry that because of a previous commitment I am unable to accept your kind invitation to dinner next Thursday. I hope that you have a wonderful evening, and I look forward to seeing you in the near future.

    There is no polite way to suggest that you be invited again another time, and so you simply should not mention it.

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