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What's the difference between 2 sentences?

Or specifying the question: Can "let's get the party started" be interpreted the way ->

Let the party get started for us -> like "experience" form of causative?

Or shall we be concerned in that thing the party shall be started by anyone?

  • Here's a long answer by me about the various meanings of let and why let means all those things. It explains the difference in meaning of both sentences you asked about. Compare the first sentence to "Let there be light." – Ben Kovitz Jul 3 '17 at 4:10
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The word "let's" is used when you want to give directions to a group, and you are a peer in that group. It is often used to set a plan in motion (e.g. "Let's go!") or to build momentum for a plan in motion (e.g. "LET'S ROCK!").

In this case, "Let's get the party started" is both a signal to begin the party as well as a rallying cry for the people celebrating. That phrase is also often used figuratively - for instance, before doing something dangerous, or (ironically) before starting something unpleasant.

Conversely, to "let" something happen implies you have authority. The person who is being "let" to proceed is therefore not your peer, and you would normally be using more formal language than "get this party started." If I were going to use "let" in this context, I would be more formal, saying something like "Let the games begin."

Another example of "Let" as authoritative is from the French Revolution. A famous noblewoman was told that the peasants were starving, and they had no bread. She proclaimed "Let them eat cake!". (She was later executed in the Revolution, of course.)

Contrast that with "Let's eat cake", which would have been an invitation rather than a condescending dismissal. The moral of the story is that you should learn the difference between "let" and "let's", because it could save your life!

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In the first sentence, the subject is understood as you, that is, it's an imperative verb. The speaker is telling some other unspecified person(s) to start the party.

In the second, the subject is us (in the contraction), but the verb is still imperative. The speaker is telling a group of people, him/herself included, to start the party. Note that the speaker may or may not be included in the first sentence's target. It's a subtle distinction, but it can be important.

  • OK but if we regard the 2nd sentence and your answer belonging for that (The speaker is telling a group of people, him/herself included, to start the party) then what difference is there between let's start the party and let's get the party started? Can the latter sentence mean that: We shall be concerned in that thing the party shall be started by anyone? – qasxc001 Jul 4 '17 at 0:49

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