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Which is the normal interpretation of the following sentence? Is it a) a question about what is going to happen b) an invitation?

"Will you come to the party?"
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b). Normally.
I think there are at least three more questions possible here:

1. Will you be coming to the party?
2. Are you going to come to the party?
3. Are you coming to the party?

What are the differences, please?

My observations:

- In my opinion, 1 & 2 are "neutral" questions with no hint of "please say yes, I want you to come to the party" as in "Will you come to the party?"
- Also, I think that 2 would be more common than 1.
- In my opinion, 3 is not as "neutral" as 1 & 2 are. I'd say it might be suggesting "if you say no I may try to persuade you to come with me".

Am I right there?

Thanks in advance.
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AnonymousWhich is the normal interpretation of the following sentence? Is it a) a question about what is going to happen b) an invitation?

"Will you come to the party?"

The definite article ("the") suggests a context in which the party has already been mentioned.

I think we would need to know that fuller context, before we could decide whether it was an invitation or a request for information.

MrP
you are right,MrPedantic..
Your question was about frequency, right? I'd say it is more normally used for invitations. More usual for requests for information would be "are you coming to the...", "will you go to the...", will you be going to the..." or "going to the...".
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SKripTz-Syou are right,MrPedantic..
If we are talking about what that sentence is normally used for, I'd say MR P isn't right. It is more common as an invitation.
Pastsimple- In my opinion, 3 is not as "neutral" as 1 & 2 are. I'd say it might be suggesting "if you say no I may try to persuade you to come with me".

I know what you mean, PS. A kind of elbow-tugging note.

It is quite difficult to say, though; for instance, "Will you be coming to the party?" can be said in a beseeching eager-young-girl kind of way or with a blasé not-really-interested intonation.

What do you think, Milky?

MrP
AnonymousYour question was about frequency, right? I'd say it is more normally used for invitations. More usual for requests for information would be "are you coming to the...", "will you go to the...", will you be going to the..." or "going to the...".
Interesting, Anon.

And yet, do you feel that "to the party" is normal, in an invitation? "To my party", perhaps; or "to Vampira and Lord Cheadle's party"; but "to the party"?

MrP
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