Talking about parties, gatherings, meetings and the like


There are in English lots of words to talk about parties, gatherings and meetings. Students usually have the word “party” in mind. But sometimes we have to use a different word to be more specific about what we’re referring to. So, that’s the aim on this post: to learn other words related to parties and the like. I really hope you enjoy it and improve your vocabulary.

An interesting word to be kept in mind is “gathering“, which is a meeting of people for a particular purpose. Now, you might be asking what the difference between “gathering” and “meeting” is. Let’s see if I can make myself clear here and help you get the point. According to the dictionaries, there isn’t much difference between “gathering” and “meeting“. However, what specialists say is that “gathering” is an informal meeting and “meeting” is a formal one. That is, when it’s something informal, not related to the business world, people use the word “gathering“. On the other hand, when it’s something related to the business world, they use the word “meeting“. That’s the only difference they say there is.

A very informal gathering is known as a “get-together“. This is more related to family, close friends and colleagues at work. In a get-together people usually have barbecue and drinks. They may also listen to music and dance. It’s a party, but it’s a family and friend stuff, so it’s a get-together.

Another word used for parties is “function“. That may sound weird but it’s for real! A “function” is a large formal party, usually for important people. Those parties held for politicians and very famous people are usually called “functions“. It’s a formal word and some people say it’s not commonly used, but, in my opinion, it’s good to know it.

When you want to celebrate something, you have a “celebration“. The funny thing about “celebration” is that it’s usually used in the plural. So, don’t worry if people say that “celebrations continued with a dinner“. They’re talking about one social event and not several.

Sometimes people also organize a “reception“, which is a social occasion to welcome somebody or to celebrate something. I guess you have already heard about a wedding reception, haven’t you?

Finally, there is the word “reunion“. When people who haven’t seen each other for quite a long time, they organize a social occasion or party called “reunion“. For instance, let’s say you finished school in 2000. Then, you and your friends from school haven’t seen each other so often. So, you decide to have a party to get all these people together again and learn more about what they’ve been up to since school. This party can be called a reunion. If you watch American sitcoms, you may see sometimes that they’re having a reunion. It’s really great!

Well, I guess that’s it for today. If you wanna learn more vocabulary, key phrases and expressions to talk about parties and gatherings, take a look at Lesson 29 in inFlux Book 03. I’m quite sure you’ll learn much more! Take care!

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