Sometimes you will be invited to a function or event you don’t really want to go to. Other times you may want to go but can’t! Just how do you turn down such invitations in a polite way without causing offence or making the person inviting you unhappy? If you have a genuine excuse, the other person may offer an alternative which might be a good solution for both sides!
In this Podcast, you will learn:
(i) To decline an invitation to an event as you have other commitments
(ii) How to explain why you can’t go to a wedding party after being invited
A work colleague invites another to his wedding:
(zài gōng sī)
(at the company)
Xiǎo Wáng, wǒ shí yuè bàn hūn lǐ, zhè shì qǐng tiě, nǐ yī dìng yào lái ou!
Wang, my wedding banquet is in October, here is your invitation. You must come!
À, gōng xǐ gōng xǐ. Zhè qǐng tiě zhēn xǐ qìng! Yōu, shí yuè shí wǔ hào a. shí zài tài bào qiàn le, wǒ qù bù liǎo. Nà shí hou wǒ yīng gāi zài guó wài. Wǒ zǎo jiu dìng le chū guó lǚ yóu, jī piào yǐ jīng chū le.
Ah, congratulations! Wow, this will be such a joyful invitation. Oops…, October 15th, I am really sorry I can’t make it. I will be out of the country at that time. I made plans to travel abroad a long time ago and my air tickets are already paid for.
À, zhēn bù qiǎo. Nà zhǐ hǎo děng nǐ huí lái zán men yì qǐ chī gè fàn la.
Ah, that’s unfortunate. Then we need to go out to eat together after you come back.
Hǎo hǎo. Zài cì gōng xǐ nǐ a!
Great, can do! Congratulations once again!
Chinese words and phrases mentioned in this Podcast:
办婚礼：hold a wedding banquet
去不了：can’t make it
那时候：at that time
在国外：out of the country
早就：a long time ago
出机票：refers to ‘买了机票’, purchased the air tickets
不巧：unfortunate (in this conversation it means ‘it is unfortunate that we can’t have you as a guest’)
Usually the traditional colour for wedding invitations is red, which is a joyful colour representing happiness.
In China, if you are invited to your colleague’s wedding, and if you don’t have any good excuse, you should go. Receiving a wedding invitation in China can present a headache sometimes, because you need to give a ‘红包’ (red envelope) (i.e. money as a gift), and you need to think about how much you should give. Lots of young people think ‘给红包真的很麻烦’, but it is a long-standing tradition, and nobody wants to break it.
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