How do you say greet people and invite them to the table?

I thought "greet people to the table" meant that, but my English teacher told me, I can't and I can only say "greet people at a table", so how do you say greet people and invite them to the table in the shortest and most idiomatic way possible?

  • 4
    What is the context here? Is it a waiter in a restaurant? Is it a person hosting a dinner party at home?
    – James K
    Jan 19, 2019 at 22:38

2 Answers 2


If the context is clear, I think a good way to express what I think you mean (*) could consist of using the phrasal wave somebody over. Here follow a couple of examples taken from Google books:

Chad knew the moment he stepped into El Rosal for dinner that night he was in trouble. He thought he'd come in early -- just after five -- and would beat the Saturday crowd. The place was packed. No tables were free. No bar stool was empty. And there was a thrity minute wait for a table. The early-bird specials were apparently quite popular.


"Chad! Chad!" The mayor waved him over to a small table near the kitchen door. [...]

(Source 1)

Who waved him over to join his table? Stan Musial, who was eating with Bob Gibson, Lou Brock and Jack Buck. It was apparently a very enjoyable lunch.

(Source 2)

(*) Please notice, JJJJ, that "greet" means "say hi" and "wave" means "raise your arm and move your hand from side to side in order to make someone notice you". Even if we sometimes greet and make this gesture at the same time (see picture from the Longman dictionary below) and waving can be a form of greeting (see this article: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/apr/14/dad-wave-nod-how-greet-hug-kiss-handshake), they are not synonyms. However, as a teacher I understood what you meant.



If you want to express exactly that meaning, just use the conjunction: "Greet people and (invite them to sit down)/(show them to their seat)" There will be other expressions you could use.

Greeting and directing to the table are two distinct actions, so it makes sense that they require two verbs. But, in context one or other action can be implied:

When guests enter the restaurant you should politely direct them to an available table. (greeting them is implied, we assume that waiters know this)

Margaret greeted us at the door. Dinner was already cooked so we started immediately. (It is implied that the greeting included inviting the guests to sit.)

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