Is there some other way of saying “I’ll buy you… Let me buy you… I would like to buy you (a drink, lunch… etc)” My point is that I would like to avoid using the word “buy”, because it sounds to me like putting the emphasize on the paying (I will pay for you), which I find inappropriate or even impolite, even if you say: “I would like to buy you a drink”. In my language we use other word, which is close to English honour. It’s difficult to translate it, but it would be something like: I would like to honour you with a drink (or lunch or whatever). In that case the emphasize is put on that that I’ll be glad to serve you (with whatever) and it’ll be my pleasure (buying, paying, money are not important in that particular moment).

closed as primarily opinion-based by tchrist, Kris, Chenmunka, Robusto, FumbleFingers Sep 17 '14 at 15:18

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    Perhaps: Can I get you a drink? or Let me get you a drink – Araucaria Sep 17 '14 at 11:29

I think the nearest word to what you are looking for is to offer

May I offer you a drink?

This feels more in keeping with the "honour" concept of your own language. There is a politeness and adherence to etiquette implied, without anything so vulgar as the concept of money being involved.

As others have suggested, you could also use get, if the situation is less formal.

In English you could say

May I honour you with a drink?

But that is very odd and sounds almost like you are elevating the other person to the level of a minor god!

  • tnx. Very helpful answer! I didn't know that I can use "May I 'honour' you with a drink?" "Offer" is a quite acceptable term for me as well although it's not expressing exactly what I actually mean. – james dean Sep 17 '14 at 13:26

Very common is

Let me treat you to a drink.

According to Oxford Dictionaries Online, one of the meanings of treat is

(treat someone to) Provide someone with (food, drink, or entertainment) at one’s own expense

  • tnx. I've never came across this term before. I forgot to explain further on that it’s not always about situation that’s happening at the moment, but it could be for something in the past or planned action for the future. – james dean Sep 17 '14 at 13:17
  • It works in both past and future. Let me treat you to lunch tomorrow. or I was happy to treat you to drinks last night. – bib Sep 17 '14 at 13:20

A few phrases come to mind:

  • It's on me.
  • Let me get this.
  • (smiling, if challenged) I insist. / Please, let me.
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    How about What's yours/ what's your poison? – TimLymington Sep 17 '14 at 12:06
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    Those three give me the impression they are specifically about he bill, which is the opposite of what was asked. – oerkelens Sep 17 '14 at 12:53
  • @ oerkelens. I agree and that's what I want to avoid – james dean Sep 17 '14 at 13:15
  • Let me get you a drink.
  • Let’s get lunch, it’s on me.

Interesting. For someone who has not discussed this scenario/to a layman- Treat would still resound with "not paying".

My first few thoughts on reading this question:

I will treat you to lunch.(or whatever) Let me take you to lunch.

So, if it's a treat for me, i am not paying- my common sense :)-

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