How to Ask Someone Out in English

Hey there! Some links on this page are affiliate links which means that, if you choose to make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I greatly appreciate your support!

This article covers the following areas –

Asking someone out means inviting someone to go out with you because of having romantic feelings for them. It is a nerve-taking experience, especially when you do it for the first time. The anxiety comes from fear of rejection as no one wants to get rejected by the person they love or offend them and risk their relationship.  

Fear not! If you are wondering how to minimize the risk of rejection while asking out someone in English, this post is for you. I’ll help you with different English expressions and tips to sound romantic, impressive, and polite so that you can ask someone out appropriately in English.

To ask someone out in English, express your interest politely and give the person the option to decline. Example: ‘Would you be interested in joining me for a coffee this weekend? I understand if you’re not available.’ This approach respects the individual’s autonomy and feelings.

Whether you ask someone out in person, over the phone, by text, on social media, or on a dating app or website, you must follow some etiquette to get it right. To help you with this, let me share some essential tips and expressions so you can ask someone out without sounding rude and offensive.

I believe that if you follow the following guidelines and use the expressions maintaining all the etiquette, you will be able to ask someone out. However, if you want a compilation of some expressions and tips before you make your first date, you may check Conversation Casanova: How to Effortlessly Start Conversations and Flirt Like a Pro (Amazon link).

Consider the Medium of Asking Someone Out: In-person or Digital

How we speak to someone varies from person to person and situation to situation. Similarly, how you ask someone out in person varies when you ask them out over the phone or by text. However, sometimes it’s a matter of choice in which medium you would like to ask someone out. 

How to Ask Someone Out in Person

If you are confident and good at verbal and non-verbal communication, I would surely recommend you ask someone out in person. A face-to-face conversation is more helpful in convincing someone compared to texting or audio-only conversation.

You can see the immediate reaction of the other person and act accordingly. While asking someone out in person, your body language can help you to communicate better.

And also, the way one can easily reject someone over the phone, the same person may not say NO that easily when you are standing and talking in front of them. So put on a polite smile and make other people smile with your positive attitude.   

Some people may like the courage and confidence of asking them out in person. They may think that if you can’t ask them out in person, you will not be comfortable having coffee or watching movies together. Thus they may lack interest in going out with you.

So, I recommend that if you are ok facing the person you wish to ask out, meet them and ask them politely. However, If you still think you lack the confidence to ask someone out in person, other media, like a phone call or text, could be a better choice.

Guide to Asking Someone Out Over the Phone

While you talk to someone over the phone, it helps you feel less nervous as you don’t need to see the other person’s face. However, you still might be nervous out of fear of rejection while asking someone out.

To make it a good try, you can text the person before you call to ask for permission that you want to reach out. If they reply with approval, contact them immediately. You can still call if there is no reply, but it’s better not to call if the response is negative.

You may send a voicemail or a recorded note to ask someone out if you don’t want to encounter them, even over the phone. But remember! If you do so, you cannot be sure whether the person has received your message or not. Thus, there can be a communication gap.

So, if you decide to ask someone out, the best way is to call directly and express your mind regarding asking them out.     

How to Ask Someone Out by Texts

Texting can be another good way to ask someone out, as people are not always available to talk over the phone. Depending on your relationship with the person, you can text with some romantic and flirty messages. Be sensible while making fun through texts.

Once you get consent from the other side regarding going on a date, texting can be a great way of making plans together.

So, I recommend texting someone to ask out as a third option. Of course, the first option is always to ask them out in person, and the second is to make a voice call.

Guide to Asking Someone Out on Social Media

Nowadays, social media is a great source for building networks in both personal and professional life. Hence, people spend a lot of time on social media like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, etc.

Therefore, getting someone connected on social media and building relationships is easy. You can get to know someone and talk if they are available online. Share funny or romantic memes or posts between you and your lover because who doesn’t want to smile?

You can also share some related videos that show someone is asking someone else. It may give them a clue about your desire. However, don’t go for too serious and direct videos. It’s always better if you share funny things, as we see in different TV shows like “Friends.”

How to Ask Someone Out on a Dating App or Website

In this 21st century, dating apps and websites are getting more and more popular day by day. People are more attracted to virtual life rather than real. Since people have profiles on those sites, you can learn about their likes and dislikes and act accordingly.

Those dating sites also have different features, such as chats, swipes, connects, matches, etc. However, you should not just keep talking to the person online since your goal is to meet them in person.

I recommend meeting in person as soon as possible once you have developed a connection. First, ask the person politely and respond accordingly.

Ask about the Availability Before You Ask Someone Out

Before you ask someone out, you should know about their availability. Whether you talk to anyone in person or over the phone, asking if they are available shows that you really care about them.

The great rule is that if you care about someone, you can only expect care from them. Well! You can use the following example sentences to ask someone if they are available.

  1. Are you busy this Sunday?
  2. Are you doing anything after class?
  3. Do you have any plans this evening?
  4. What are you up to this afternoon?
  5. Please let me know if you are free today.

You can use These common expressions to ask about someone’s availability. To check 50+ more expressions of this sort, you can check my another post titled How to Ask If Someone Is Available.

Ask for Permission Before You Talk to the Person You’ll Ask Out

We can’t expect someone to talk to us anytime about anything. How you think about the relationship between you and them may not be the same from their end. So, it’s always better to ask for permission before moving forward.

So, when you think like asking someone out, you should ask for permission to talk about it in a tricky way. Here are some examples that you can check.

  1. If you don’t mind, can I ask you something?
  2. May I talk about something?
  3. Would you mind if I talked about some plans?
  4. Can I feel free to talk about anything?
  5. Do you think I can share what’s on my mind?

I believe the above examples can help you to ask for permission before you speak your mind about asking someone out. You can read my other article titled How to Ask for Permission Politely in English to find 50+ more such examples.     

Consider Asking Someone Out a Favor for You

To become successful in asking someone out, you must make them feel special. To do so, you should talk in such a way that it seems you are asking for a favor from them. Your words and tone should show that you are making a request or asking for a favor.

Now, let’s see some examples that can help you express your mind with a vibe that you are asking for a favor from the person you want to go out for a date.

  1. It would be my pleasure to have coffee together this evening.
  2. I would love to walk on the beach with you. May I?
  3. I am eagerly waiting to meet you in person. Can we make that happen tomorrow?
  4. Will you please allow me to have dinner with you?
  5. I am longing to see you. May I come to your city?

If you want to learn 100+ more expressions of this kind, you can go through my other write-up titled How to Ask for a Favor in English.

Ask for Advice or Suggestions from the Person You’ll Ask Out

Once you know that there is less possibility of being denied by the person you are about to ask out, you can ask for advice and suggestions about the time and place of the date. It will make them feel important.

Try to accept their suggestions and act accordingly. If you feel like disagreeing with them, share your thoughts politely. However, make sure you don’t oppose their ideas harshly. Instead, try to explain your disagreement and show logic in favor of your ideas.

Offer Something that Interests the Person You’ll Ask Out

If you know what things, places, or foods interest the person you are asking, offer them their favorites. If you don’t know yet, try to understand what they like to do, which places they love to visit, or what they are fond of eating.

Offering someone their favorite things shows that you really care for their happiness. Here, I give some example sentences that you can try to use while offering something to someone you are about to ask out.

  1. Do you fancy an Americano?
  2. Would you like to visit the national park with me?
  3. How about a bike ride?
  4. Let’s watch your favorite movie, “The Titanic.”
  5. Should I arrange two tickets for the next Shakespeare play at the National Theatre?

Besides the above examples, you may check 40+ more examples in my other article titled How to Offer Something to Someone in English.

Use Humour and Cheesy Pick-up Lines

If you can make someone laugh, you certainly can expect a good relationship with them. Sharing a smile is one of the significant indicators that you both are of the same interests. Remember! No one wants a person as a dull life partner.

Humorous people can easily win one’s heart. So, if you want to ask someone out effortlessly, be humorous. Make fun together by cracking jokes or cheesy pick-up lines.

Let me share some such pick-up lines to use while talking to someone you want to ask out.

  1. I’m lost. Can you give me directions to your heart?
  2. Did it hurt? When did you fall from heaven?
  3. If I could rearrange the alphabet, I’d put “U” and “I” together.
  4. Well, here I am. What are your other two wishes?
  5. I’m not currently an organ donor, but I’d love to give you my heart.


You can also have hundreds of pickup lines in the book 500 Hilarious Pick-Up Lines: The Ultimate Book of Funny, Cheesy, and Cringy Chat Up Lines (Amazon link).

Be Romantic, Flexible, and Polite

While asking someone out, you should be romantic, flexible, and polite at the same time. Don’t sound so unromantic or dull. You can use quotes from poems or any other romantic lines to impress the person you are about to ask out.

Be yourself and flexible so that you can show your true self. Try to speak out rather than be silent and boring. However, don’t cross your limit.

One more important thing is politeness. You should always remain polite in your choice of words, body language, and voice tone.

If you consider asking out someone as a request, using modals in your expressions is a good way to sound polite. Let me share some examples of such sentences.

  1. Would you like to have lunch with me on Sunday?
  2. I know this is a little forward, but I would love to walk on the beach with you.
  3. Would it be alright if I ask you to watch a movie together?
  4. I was wondering if you would like to have a coffee with me.
  5. Would you mind if I offered you a coffee after the office?

Like these five examples, you can explore 50 Examples of Polite Requests in English here.

Give Them Room for Rejection & Accept It

Remember! No one is bound to say “YES” if you ask them out. So don’t expect that the person will certainly meet your expectations. So, don’t say anything that sounds like you are making them bound to respond positively while you ask them out.

Always give space so that they can turn you down if they don’t feel comfortable. Maybe they are not ready yet. But, hopefully, in the near future, they will say “yes” to you. So, stay optimistic. Accept the rejection gladly and try a better way next time.

Let me give some examples of what to say to accept rejection after asking someone out.

  1. No problem at all. Hopefully, we will see each other soon.
  2. It’s ok if you are busy today. We’ll make a plan later.
  3. Not a big deal. We can go some other time.
  4. It’s absolutely fine. Some other time, then.
  5. That’s completely right. Take care.

10 More Tips to Follow Before/During/After Asking Someone Out

Besides the above tips and expressions, here I give some bonus tips you can use to ask someone out.

The following tips are applicable before, during, or after asking someone out. You can also use them if you meet someone for the first time, a person you already know, or someone you are already in a relationship with. Use your senses, understand the situation, and use them accordingly.  

  1. Before you ask someone out, determine if the person is already interested in someone else.
  2. If you are meeting someone for the first time. Try to get to know each other first with some small talk. Don’t hurry too much.
  3. If you ask someone out in person, make eye contact, keep a smile, and have positive body language.
  4. Be ready to hear “NO.” handle the response diplomatically. You could say, “Well, that’s ok. It was worth a try. Nice meeting you anyway!”
  5. Before asking someone out, plan what you would say. Knowing what you will say will help you be confident and save you from embarrassment.
  6. Before asking someone out, try to know if she is in good health and a good mood. Wait until you are sure.
  7. Make sure that there is no one around you during the time of asking out.
  8. Whatever you say, be specific about your offer and speak clearly.
  9. If you ask someone out over text, I recommend you to KISS (Keep It Short & Simple).
  10. Once you get a positive response after asking out, make an excellent plan to impress the person. Remember! Planning is the key to good results.

Final Thoughts

Politeness is the key to any conversation, regardless of the situation. Whether you meet someone for the first time, know a little, or are already in a relationship, you must use polite words, tone, and body language to ask them out.

You are expected to be romantic and humourous as a person to make the other person smile and laugh. If you are honest and sincere and have a positive mindset, even after rejection, you can win anyone’s heart.

Thanks for reading.

Happy learning!

Niaj A A Khan is an ESL Instructor with over 8 years of experience in teaching & developing resources at different universities and institutes. Mr. Khan is also a passionate writer working on his first book, "Learn English at Ease."

Leave a Comment