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Writing an Invitation

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Writing an Invitation
Inviting and replying
Cambridge English
Empower B1


It is important for students to see how formal and informal language is used, depending on who is going to read the email. Usually it is quite clear that we use more formal language when we write / speak to someone we don’t know. However, our language also changes a little depending on how friendly we are with the person and sometimes on how old they are.

Ask students:
Do you think Martina and Bill are good friends of Barbara’s?

The language in the email to Martina suggests that she isn’t as close a friend as Bill. They have seen Bill recently and know he has been cycling, but they haven’t seen Martina. The language in the message to Martina is more formal. Ask for examples of difference in language, e.g.
How are you?
How are things?
Ask students if they use different phrases when they write to people they know well compared to people they don’t know well. Students complete the table with the correct phrases from emails. Check answers as a class.

At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • - read and understand written invitations and replies
  • - write and reply to invitations

Exercise 1
Barbara sent emails inviting people to her barbecue. Read the emails and answer the questions.

  1. Has Barbara seen Martina recently?
  2. When is the barbecue?
  3. What do Martina and Bill need to bring to the barbecue?
  4. Who do you think Barbara sees more often? How do you know?


Email to Martina

Hi Martina,

How are you? We haven’t seen you for ages! Hope you’re well and you’re enjoying your new job. This is just to say that we’re having a barbecue at the weekend. Are you free on Saturday and, if so, would you like to come? People are going to arrive around eight o’clock. Everyone’s brining something for the barbecue. Do you think you could bring something?

It would be lovely to see you and have a chance to chat.

Best wishes,



Email to Bill

Hi Bill,

How are things? I hope the cycling trip went well – you had good weather for it! Are you doing anything on Saturday evening? We’re having a barbecue and inviting a few people. Can you come? It’d be great to see you!

Everyone is brining something. We’ll make some salads, but could you bring some meat for the barbecue?




Exercise 2

Writing skills. Inviting and replying.

Look at the emails in exercise 1 again and complete the table.

Type of phrases Email to Martina Email to Bill
Asks how the other person is 1 How are you? 5 How ______________?
Asks if he/she is free 2 Are you ________ on Saturday? 6 Are you _________on Saturday?
Invites him/her 3 __________________ to come? 7 __________________ come?
Says she wants to see him/her 4 It ____________to see you. 8 It’d ___________to see you.






Exercise 3.

Read the replies to Barbara’s emails. Which is from Martina and which is from Bill? How do you know? Who is coming to Barbara’s BBQ?


Hi Barbara,

Nice to hear from you. Yes, I’m fine, but I’m very busy. The job’s great, but I have to work very long hours. Thanks for inviting me on Saturday. I’m free that evening and I’d love to come. Is it OK if bring my daughter, Stephanie? We don’t eat meat, but we’ll bring some vegetables for the barbecue.

I’m looking forward to seeing you and having a good chat.

All the best,


Hi Barbara,

Yes, we had a great time, but my legs still hurt! I’m really sorry, the BBQ sounds great, but I’m afraid I can’t come. Thanks for asking. I’d love to, but I’m staying with my sister at the weekend.

See you soon anyway. Hope you have a nice time!


Exercise 4.

Underline the phrases in the replies that each person uses to:

  1. say thank you
  2. say yes to an invitation
  3. say no to an invitation
  4. give a reason
  5. talk about the next time they’ll meet


Ask if students know any more phrases that they could use to do the things in exercise 4.

Suggest / or elicit:

  1. Thank you for your invitation. Thanks a lot.
  2. That’d be great.
  3. I’m really sorry, but I have to say no. I can’t make it.
  4. I’m away for the week.
  5. I’m away for the week.

Exercise 5.

Correct the mistakes in each of the sentences. Use the emails in this lesson to help you.

  • You like to come to my birthday?
  • Thanks that you invited me to your wedding.
  • It’s afraid I can’t go to the cinema with you.
  • I love to come, but I’m busy that weekend.
  • I’m looking forward to see you tomorrow.

Exercise 6.

Work in pairs. You are organizing an activity at the weekend. Write an invitation to another pair of students. Include these options:

  • - ask them how they are
  • - invite them to come
  • - say where and when the event is
  • - tell them what they need to bring

Exercise 7.

Swap invitations with another pair. Write a reply to the invitation. Include these points:

  • say thank you
  • decide if you can go
  • if you can’t go, give a reason
  • add a comment or question

Exercise 8.

Give a reply back to the other pair. Look at their invitations and replies. Have they included these points?

  • said clearly where and when the event is
  • used the correct language for the invitation
  • used the correct language to reply to the invitation


Exercise 1.

  • no
  • Saturday, around 8 o’clock
  • Martina: something (for the barbecue) Bill: meat
  • Bill because she knows what c=activities he did recently. She says she hasn’t seen Martina for ages.

Exercise 2

2 free 3 Would you like 4 would be lovely 5 are things 6 doing anything 7 Can you 8 be great

Exercise 3.

The first email is from Martina. She talks about her job.
The second email is from Bill. He talks about his legs hurting from the bike ride; he includes kisses (xx).
Martina is coming to the BBQ.

Exercise 4.

  • Thanks for inviting me on Saturday. / Thanks for asking.
  • I’m free that evening and I’d love to come.
  • I’m really sorry, the BBQ sounds great, but I’m afraid I can’t come.
  • I’m staying with my sister at the weekend.
  • I’m looking forward to seeing you and having a good chat. / See you soon anyway.

Exercise 5.

  • Would you like to come to my birthday party?
  • Would you like to come to my birthday party?
  • Would you like to come to my birthday party?
  • I’d love to come, but I’m busy that weekend.
  • I’m looking forward to seeing you tomorrow.
Другие материалы в этой категории: « Problem or trouble? Affect or effect? Rubistar »

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