to make someone welcome

loviii

Senior Member
russian
Greetings!

cambridge.org:
to make someone welcome - to show someone that you are pleased that they are with you:
(1a) The restaurant makes children very welcome.
Does it mean the next and if not, then why:
(1b) Children are very welcome to the restaurant.

ldoceonline.com:
(2a) Mary made us very welcome.
Does it mean the next and if not, then why:
(2b) We were very welcome to Mary.

oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com:
(3a) Our neighbours made us welcome as soon as we arrived.
Does it mean the next and if not, then why:
(3b) We were welcome to our neighbours as soon as we arrived.

Thanks!
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    (1a) The restaurant makes children very welcome.
    Does it mean the next and if not, then why:
    (1b) Children are very welcome to the restaurant.
    Children are very welcome at the restaurant seems like the normal way to express this sentence. It is a roundabout way of expressing the idea that the owners of the restaurant are glad to have children eat there.

    (2a) Mary made us very welcome.
    Does it mean the next and if not, then why:
    (2b) We were very welcome to Mary.
    Mary was very welcoming to us . This is another way to talk about Mary's friendly attitude toward you as she welcomed you into her home, etc.
    (3a) Our neighbours made us welcome as soon as we arrived.
    Does it mean the next and if not, then why:
    (3b) We were welcome to our neighbours as soon as we arrived.
    Our neighbors went out of their way to make us feel welcome as soon as we arrived.
     
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    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    "Make" is an action verb. The restaurant, Mary and our neighbours each do or did something. This sense is lost when you use "to be".

    While there might not be much difference in practice between (1a) and (1b) (after replacing "to" with "at" or "in"), (1b) merely gives the impression that children are allowed there, not that the children will actually feel welcomed, which is the meaning of (1a).

    (2b) and (3b) do not make sense. Saying that someone is welcome to something is a way of saying that they can have or take it; a completely different meaning from (2a).
    In (3b), you could say "We were welcomed by our neighbours", but here "welcome" is a verb, not an adjective.
     

    loviii

    Senior Member
    russian
    "to make someone welcome" = "to make someone feel welcome"?
    If I add "feel" to the a-variants, will the meanings remain the same?:
    (1c) The restaurant makes children feel very welcome.
    (2c) Mary made us feel very welcome.
    (3c) Our neighbours made us feel welcome as soon as we arrived.

    Thanks!
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    "to make someone welcome" = "to make someone feel welcome"?
    If I add "feel" to the a-variants, will the meanings remain the same?:
    (1c) The restaurant makes children feel very welcome.
    (2c) Mary made us feel very welcome.
    (3c) Our neighbours made us feel welcome as soon as we arrived.

    Thanks!
    They are all fine. Adding "feel" makes it more a little more emphatic, and I would not really have said these were equivalent to the original sentences.
     

    loviii

    Senior Member
    russian
    Children are very welcome at the restaurant
    Saying that someone is welcome to something is a way of saying that they can have or take it
    macmillandictionary.com:
    If something is welcome, people are happy about it because it is pleasant or because they need it:
    This year’s bonus will be welcome to those on lower incomes.

    I was guided by this example when I wrote b-variants with "welcome to". Why was this analogy wrong?

    Thanks!
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The idiomatic use of “welcome to [something]” that Uncle Jack refers to is a very specific one, different from the normal use of welcome. It’s used to say calmly that someone can have a certain item (perhaps because you have no further need for it), or it can be used to express anger/resentment at someone wanting to take something from you.

    Oh no, it’s bleeding. Have you got anything that would do as a bandage?
    You’re welcome to use my scarf, if that helps.
    Have you got any old containers you don’t need?
    Take a look in the shed. If there are any in there, you’re welcome to them.
    When we get divorced, I’m taking the Picasso.
    Fine. You’re welcome to it! I’ve always hated it anyway!
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    The restaurant makes children very welcome.

    I would expect this one to mean more than that the restaurant makes children feel welcome in some vague kind of way. I would expect it to mean they have special arrangements for children - special meals, maybe coloring books or a play area, special events like birthday parties, etc.
    "Make" is an action verb. The restaurant, Mary and our neighbours each do or did something. This sense is lost when you use "to be".
    Exactly, "make" is an action. It implies concrete action.

    Mary made us very welcome.

    Mary took concrete action. She invited us in with a smile. She offered us comfortable chairs to sit in. She offered us something to drink and maybe something to eat. She asked us how we were doing and told us she was happy to see us.
     
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