A friend lives in Saudi. I asked her "won't you invite me to your country". She got this question wrong and thought I wanted to be with her in Saudi while visiting places. I just wanted to know whether she would like if I visit her country. Was I wrong with my question?

Also, if I was wrong, how should I have asked the question what I really meant?

closed as primarily opinion-based by FumbleFingers, Kristina Lopez, choster, Chenmunka, Ellie Kesselman Nov 12 '14 at 13:10

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 2
    This is Primarily Opinion-based. FWIW - In my opinion, you were wrong. Idiomatically it's possible for someone to "invite" you to go somewhere with no implication that they will accompany you or have any further interaction with the process, but pragmatically it's unlikely in your context. Why would you ask her to invite you in the first place? You could go to Saudi with or without her permission / invitation, so asking for it must mean something. Contextually speaking, the meaning would normally imply you wanted her active participation in the visit (i.e. - you'd spend time with her). – FumbleFingers Nov 11 '14 at 16:16
  • No. I just wanted to see whether my visit to her country would make happy or not. – user89446 Nov 11 '14 at 16:21
  • I suppose you could ask "Would it please you if I visited your country?". But that would be a rather strange thing to say, particularly if you had no intention of visiting the actual person being addressed. – FumbleFingers Nov 11 '14 at 16:29
  • May be I'm unable to express what I really meant to ask or what I had in mind by asking this question. – user89446 Nov 11 '14 at 16:34
  • @ user89446: All the text you've written here suggests you have quite good command of English (though I'm guessing you're not a native speaker). So maybe it's not so much that you can't express what you meant - maybe you're not actually sure yourself. It's in the nature of how we often frame "hesitant requests for approval" that even native speakers get confused if they don't receive a clear-cut affirmative response. "Maybe we could be friends." "What do you mean by that?" "I dunno. Now I'm all confused and embarrassed". – FumbleFingers Nov 11 '14 at 18:42

This is the wrong forum for the question.

Saudi Arabia inherits a lot of Bedouin culture.

Is it possible that in Bedouin culture, when you invite someone, you are expected to become the host to that someone?

It would be an embarrassment to Bedouin culture to invite someone, without providing that someone with shelter.

In Bedouin culture

  • You should provide even your enemies with shelter, when shelter is needed. Therefore, providing accommodation to someone you invite is implied.
  • To offer someone an invitation and have it rejected is an embarrassment. Therefore, to sweeten the "deal", you would provide every incentive possible so that your invitation is not rejected.
  • Therefore, don't ever ask a Bedouin, or an inheritor of Bedouin culture, to "invite" you unless you are prepared to be intensely invited into their abode.

Etc, etc, etc.

  • I don't think that is particular to Bedouin culture. As worded it sounds a little more extreme than most cultures ('even your enemy'), but the general effect is the same, an invitation is not nothing. – Mitch Nov 11 '14 at 19:39
  • Have you ever been to a Bedouin's home? – Blessed Geek Nov 11 '14 at 19:42
  • Also Judges 4:19-21. One might feel compelled to invite even one's enemies into one's home, but after that anything goes. – Mitch Nov 11 '14 at 20:47
  • The question was "Invite me to your country". I have invited people to my country, but I expect them to stay in a hotel. I don't even expect them to visit me. I simply invited them to visit the great U S A. – Blessed Geek Nov 13 '14 at 7:37
  • Oh. Then I was wrong and there are cultural differences here. – Mitch Nov 13 '14 at 13:28

You question, "Won't you invite me to your country?" appears to be a request for her to ask you to come to her country. The implication is that you will be visiting her.

What you could have asked is "Would you like it if I visited your country?" or "Would you like me to visit your country?"

  • Even then, the fairly obvious social convention is that if you visit a foreign country, and you know someone there, and you tell them you're coming (not even asking) you'd still be inclined to at least visit that person. It'd be kind of weird not to. – Mitch Nov 11 '14 at 16:24
  • @Mitch - It depends how big the country is. If I am going to visit America to have a look at Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon, I am unlikely to pop in on friends in New York. Even in quite a small country like the Czech Republic, where I live, I do not find it weird if a friend from England visiting Olomouc, 280 kilometres from my home, does not come to see me. – tunny Nov 11 '14 at 16:36
  • tunny: sure, but without all those details, the first thing you think is 'Oh, I'll have to show them around'. – Mitch Nov 11 '14 at 19:27

You are asking that person to invite you, to ask you specifically to go there, to send you an invitation. This implies that she would be with you. If you meant ask her if she would be pleased if you visit her country, just ask "Would you like if I visit your country?"

  • "Would you like if I visit your country?" is not idiomatic English. It needs to be "Would you like it if I visit your country?" (or more likely, visited, since people these days aren't so keen on the strictly correct subjunctive if I were to visit). – FumbleFingers Nov 11 '14 at 18:49

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.