RSVP – what does it mean? Definition, synonyms & example sentences

Have you ever been invited to an event and told to RSVP? If you’re not quite sure what it means and what you’re asked to do, here is a short guide to what those letters stand for and the general rules behind this practice.

RSVP what does it mean definition acronym abbreviation examples in sentences collocations synonyms

RSVP – what’s the meaning?

This abbreviation (RSVP) is specifically an acronym, which means that it consists of the first letters of words – and those words are not even English. It comes from the French phrase répondez s’il vous plait, which literally means: please respond.

When you’re asked to RSVP to an invitation, you should let your host know whether you’re attending beforehand (a deadline for such a response is sometimes given on the invitation). With big and important events like wedding receptions, helping your hosts to plan for the number of people who will be attending is good etiquette.

This acronym can also be used as a verb with an apostrophe before any grammatical ending we would usually add to this part of speech – so once you’ve RSVP’d to your upcoming event, you can also remember that for the next time you’ll be RSVP’ing.

Synonyms of RSVP

If you’re hosting an event and looking for an equivalent to the abbreviation, consider using:

  • répondez s’il vous plait,
  • please respond,
  • please reply before [date],
  • let me know if you’re attending by [date].

Examples of RSVP in sentences

“It’s not easy to throw parties – from planning, setting up the house, buying and preparing food, etc. First, I would like to remind folks that it’s common courtesy to respond. There were eight people who didn’t even RSVP.”

The Washington Post, July 15, 2023

“The guests that took the cake were the ones who RSVP’d for themselves… plus their 5 kids.”

Huff Post, Aug 30, 2017

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She is a translator and EFL teacher with an MA in English studies, who dabbles in writing, subtitling and academic proofreading. When not pondering the complexities of linguistic correctness, she enjoys DIY, cycling and playing any type of guitar she can lay her hands on.