Not so much a lesson plan as a quick review with examples of different ways we can accept an invitation or agree with a suggestion in English.
- Review different ways to signal agreement with someone
Americans are weird. We have ten thousand ways to agree with something someone says and when you translate them literally, it can get pretty confusing. At least my friends and students get confused. So here are some of the idiomatic ways in English to say: “Yes, I think what you just said was a good idea.”
Sounds good literally means something like ‘The sound is pleasant to me’ so it confuses people because it’s just a way of saying I agree with your plan.
For example:”Want to go get some Chinese food and then see the new Tom Cruise movie at the cinema.”
Notice that we don’t use the negative form in this way. “That doesn’t sound good” would mean that it seems like there is some kind of problem, as in:
“I’ve been coughing up blood all day.”
“That doesn’t sound good. You should see a doctor.”
Or,we can say ‘That doesn’t sound right to mean, I think you made a mistake.
“Charles Dickens wrote the famous tragedy, Hamlet.
“That doesn’t sound right…Wasn’t it Shakespeare?”
“Was it? Oh yeah, Dickens wrote Oliver Twist!
That would be nice This throws people because it’s in the hypothetical and it confuses ESL learners sometimes to understand that it’s just a polite way to accept an invitation:
“I’m going to have dinner at a restaurant near the dock. Would you like to come? It’s supposed to have excellent seafood.”
“That would be nice.” This doesn’t mean “Maybe”. It means “Yes”!
It can also be used to accept help:
“Would you like me to drive you home? It’s pretty cold out.”
“That would be very nice. Thank you.”
We can use a number of adjectives with this form: That would be wonderful, great, excellent, etc.
I would love to again just means, “Thank you for the invitation. I accept.”
“Would you like to have a cup of coffee after class?”
“Thanks, I’d love to.”
All right sometimes written ‘Alright’ because we say it as one word. While literally this would translate as something like “Everything is correct”, it actually just means “Yes”.
“I think we should talk to Bob before we buy a new car; he knows all about cars.”
“All right, I’ll give him a call tonight.”
I’ll take you up on that is used to agree to a plan or to accept an offer.
“Hey, do you need some help on Friday with your homework? I can come over and help out.”
“I’ll take you up on that actually. How about 11am?”
Or:”I have two tickets to the Britney Spears concert. Want to go?”
“I’ll take you up on that. That sounds great!”
So there are some phrases for you to try out next time someone makes a plan, or invites you out. I won’t teach you how to reject an invitation, because if you’re a foreign student studying in the US you should take up every invitation you can!