Monday, July 6, 2009

treat someone to something

Let's stay on the topic of "paying for other people's purchases". The last two blogs--last Thursday's and Friday's--both talked about expressions that you use when you or someone pays for a friend's dinner or ticket to a movie or a concert, etc. If you haven't had the chance to use the past two expressions, and especially if you've forgotten them, just read both blogs quickly to get a nice review.

Alright, today's expression is treating someone to something. Again, this is very similar to the past two phrases that we learned. When you're treating someone to dinner, the dinner is on you, or you're picking up the tab for dinner. All three expressions mean that you're paying for the dinner and your friend doesn't have to. However, treating someone to something also has an added meaning that you're doing it as a gift to make the person happy. So when you treat your friend to a movie, you're paying for the movie as a gift to your friend.

like this:

Husband: What are John and Sarah doing for the summer? Do you know?
Wife: John's still looking for a job, and they can't afford to send the kids to summer camp this year.
Husband: You know what, why don't we treat them to a week at Disney World with us?
Wife: Do you think it's a good idea?
Husband: Yeah. We can afford it. They're such good neighbors, and they've had a tough year.
Wife: ... and the kids would enjoy spending time together.
Husband: Totally. John told me he wanted to treat Sarah and the kids to a nice vacation just to get their minds off things, but they can't afford it. You know, they're always helping us out with babysitting.
Wife: ... and they bring us some food now and then. Alright, let's do it. I'll talk to Sarah tomorrow.
Husband: good.

Don't hesitate to use the verb treat in any tense. You can say, "I'm treating my friend to dinner," or "They treated us to a movie," or "She's (has) treated me to a day at the spa before," or "Let's treat him to a night out in the city when he comes to visit."

Now, think of someone you can treat to a cup of coffee today, then go and use the expression. If your friend is learning English, you can also teach him the phrase. This way, you're more likely to remember it in the future.

It's on you - you're paying for it (see the July 3 blog)
pick up the tab - pay for the purchase (see the July 2 blog)
get your mind off things - temporarily forget about problems
now and then - sometimes

Have a nice cup of coffee.
the small guide site


  1. very useful! thanks a lot!!!

  2. Thanks, aramazd, for the comment. I'm glad you found this post useful, and I hope you continue to follow the small blog and tell your friends about it. :-)