I've been wondering whether there is a distinction between

to barbecue sth.


to have a barbecue

I suppose to barbecue something is the act of barbecuing (grilling) food. and having a barbecue means more the situation of barbecuing, eating, talking. Like not just the act, but a longer period.


I would invite my friends and say "Hey guys, want to come over to my house? Let's have a barbecue."

I would never say "Hey guys, want to come over to my house to barbecue steaks."

Or would you say both expressions mean the same?

Thank you :) Greetings from Germany

  • But you could say it. Come over to my house and we'll barbecue some steaks.
    – Lambie
    Sep 10, 2019 at 17:05

1 Answer 1


In general we would use 'to have a barbecue' to mean 'arrange or hold a kind of party or gathering where food is cooked outdoors on a barbecue contrivance and eaten by the host and guests' and 'to barbecue' alone to discuss the act of cooking something in that manner. That is not to say that somebody cannot say 'I am barbecuing some steaks on Saturday - would you like to come?'

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