" Would you like a cup of coffee" I said to Jim. "No, thanks. I must go now." he said.

< Previous | Next >


Senior Member
Hello. I have seen this sentence.
- " Would you like a cup of coffee" I said to Jim. "No, thanks. I must go now." he said.
a- I offered Jim a cup of coffee but he refused and said that he had to go then.(key)
Is it all right to write as follows?
b- I invited Jim to have a cup of coffee but he refused because he had to go then.
  • vincix

    Senior Member
    Your answer should be correct, but it's not entirely consistent with the first sentence. If I ask Jim if he wants a cup of coffee, you can easily assume that I'm offering that cup there and then, so I'm not inviting him to some other place. That's why "offer" here is better. I don't see anything wrong with the rest of the sentence. What you're saying is that you know for sure that Jim needed to go in that moment, whereas the key says that he said that. The difference, I suppose, is insignificant, if you're not very picky.

    I would say it's more important that you got the tense and the adverb right. That you were able to turn present simple into past simple and 'now' into 'then'.


    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I can say it's wrong, but it's over-formal in the context of offering someone a cup of coffee.

    I invited him to be seated = I told him to sit down/I offered him a chair

    Edit: There's also an ambiguity - are you inviting them out for a cup of coffee, or just asking if they want one (you have some ready, or are just going to make some).


    Senior Member
    English - US
    Strictly speaking, you've made an assumption that he refused the coffee because he had to go. You've added a piece of information that is not in your context.
    < Previous | Next >