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- If a British person or an American invites you to their home for dinner, there are rules
- to follow if you want to stay friends.
When a British person or American invites you to their home, be careful how you accept the invitation. If you are speaking to a British person, a simple and polite ‘Oh, that would be lovely, thank you’
is enough, but with an American, enthusiasm is essential. I recommend ‘That sounds like so much fun! I would love to come.’
- If you bring dessert to a British person’s house, don’t bring fruit. British people give fruit to people in hospital, so you may give the wrong message:
- You don’t look healthy, have some fruit. Traditionally, people take wine, but cheap wine is not acceptable – if your wine is cheap, you are cheap. And the host is more likely to use their own bottle of wine. An expensive wine is fine in the US, but not in the UK.They call this ‘showing off’ (showing how much money and how little sense you have). A medium-priced bottle is ideal.
- You must say something nice about women’s clothes, the house and the food.
- Don’t compliment /ˈkɒmplɪmənt/(hacer cumplido) the wine if you took it ( si lo has traido). In the UK, compliments should be discreet: ‘Lovely potatoes’ ‘This is delicious’, etc. In the US, compliments
- should be exaggerated. For example, when you taste something, you can say
- ‘This is amazing! or ‘This is even better than my mother’s cooking’.
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You should, however, carry things to the table,
- Don’t help with the cooking but offer to help (you’ll get the answer ‘It’s all under
- control. Thank you’); then you can stand in the kitchen, watching and drinking wine.
help clear up, and even help wash the dishes if you are at an informal dinner.
- Finally, British and Americans don’t go to bed very late, so look tired about 11 p.m.
- and say sometime before midnight ‘Oh, is that the time? It’s so late! I must go!’