Welcome to “William’s English Tips”! “Welcome” is a word that a lot of Chinese speakers make mistakes with, so I’m going to explain how to use it correctly. If anything is not clear, you’re welcome to leave a comment. Questions and feedback are always welcome.
1. Welcome to + N
When someone has arrived in a place, joined a group, or showed up for an event, you can say something like this.
- Welcome to our corporate headquarters. Would you like a quick tour of our production facility?
- Welcome to T.G.I. Friday’s. Do you have a reservation?
- Welcome to Taiwan! I hope you enjoy your stay in our country.
- Congratulations on getting hired. Welcome to the team!
- Welcome to Eton. You’ll learn a ton!
Notice that “to” is followed by a noun, not a verb. You can’t say “Welcome to study here” or “Welcome to visit our company.” (This is a very common mistake in Taiwan.)
Note that you can only say (for example) “Welcome to my home” to someone who has already arrived at your home. You can’t use that sentence to invite someone to your home.
2. You’re welcome to + V
We use “You’re welcome to” + a verb to say that it’s okay to do something. The meaning is similar to “Feel free to…” or “I don’t mind if you….”
- Food is not allowed in the classroom, but you’re welcome to bring a water bottle.
- Mr. Smith won’t be back for two hours. You’re welcome to wait for him, or you can come back later.
3. N + is/are welcome
If we say that something is welcome (or that we welcome something), it means we are happy to receive it.
- Admission to the museum is free, but donations are welcome. (= but we welcome donations)
- Questions and comments are welcome. Just raise your hand.
- Visitors are welcome during business hours.
4. You’re welcome
As I’m sure you already know, “You’re welcome” is a common response to “Thank you.” You can also say the following.
- No problem.
- Don’t mention it.
- It’s nothing.
- Not at all.
- Any time.
Any questions? I welcome comments.
Eton Royal English School