Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Do you know who pays for lunch when you go out with English speakers?

This might be a source of serious confusion for you if you are making the mistake of translating the word “invite” from your native language to English!

Today you’ll learn how to avoid one of the most awkward possible misunderstandings when you go out for lunch!

Today is number 7 of our Top 15 Fixes to tune up your English!


What does it mean when you “invite” someone out for dinner or for lunch?

The verb “invite” just means to extend an invitation to someone to go out and do something together. It does NOT mean that you will pay for the person’s meal.

Are you translating this verb and its meaning from your native language into English?

A lot of people make this mistake!

In English when we invite someone to dinner we aren’t sure who is going to pay.


If you do want to pay for someone you can say:

  • “I’ve got this”
  • “I got this”
  • “Let me get this”
  • “This one’s on me”
  • “I’ll take this”
  • “My treat”
  • “Don’t worry about it. I’ve got this”


Michelle invited Lindsay to dinner, and the check has just arrived.

Lindsay: It was so nice to meet for dinner. We should do this again sometime soon!

Michelle: I agree! It was lovely to catch up. It’s been way too long.

Lindsay: I know- it’s so easy to let life get in the way and suddenly it’s been months since we’ve chatted.

Michelle: Let me get this. My treat!

Lindsay: That’s so nice of you! I’ll get the next one.


Other Entries in the 15 Fixes Series:



How do you deal with paying for the bill in your culture?

Is it ok to refuse when someone offers to pay for you or should you accept?

How do you think your culture is different from American culture in this sense?

Leave us a message in the comments and let’s have a conversation!

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