Culture(s) / Going out

A1 Breakthrough
In your country, what do you say to invite a colleague? To invite a friend? Can a woman invite a man? What are the usual formulas for invitation letters or emails?
It is common to invite friends or colleagues to go out For a date, a woman can make the first move. However, in a invitation, even a direct one, the conditional verbal form must be used ("dirait” for “ dire” "irait” for "aller”) to follow standards of courtesy.

In general, the person inviting others pays the check or the check is divided between everyone, some codes of chivalry where the man pays for the woman still remain.

We use the "vous” form to address someone we barely know, or to someone we want to show respect to (elder people, teachers, someone with a higher-up position).  

Write to someone
The letter or email invitation usually includes a formal greeting, if writing to a stranger or an acquaintance“ Madame ”, "Monsieur ”, “ Mademoiselle ”.
If you know the person who will be receiving the mail well enough, you will simply use expressions such as “ Chère Anita”, “ Cher Jean ”, “ Bonjour ”, "Coucou “, “ Salut ”, ….

The letter or email invitation ends with a signature usually preceded by a parting phrase. This salutation is adapted to the person it is addressed to : “ Bien à vous ” if you want to keep a certain distance, show respect ; “ À bientôt ”, “ Salut ”, “ Bises ”, “ Bisous ”, to maintain a friendly and affectionate relationship.

Practical exercises

Culture(s): Suggesting an outing

4 exercises
Look • Intercultural (communication / initial contacts)