A few years ago I was visiting a friend's home, and since I'm always painfully polite, I wanted to thank his mother for being willing to have a group of boys in her home for the weekend.

So when I met her the first thing I said was, "Thank you for having us." to which the pretentious woman replied, "I haven't had you yet, have I?"

Now apart from the obvious ambiguity in her response I thought, surely "having us" is present continuous tense, meaning that it was technically correct to use this phrase mid-visit even though it's generally used in an implied past tense once you've already been hosted and thanking someone for their hospitality.

Clearly, I was traumatised by this lady. So please, tell me I was right and that she was rude.

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    It's fine. Same as saying Thank you for inviting me to dinner as you sit down to eat at a friend's table. The pretentious woman's reply I haven't had you yet, have I? is a weak pun / facetious joke. Ignore it, or smile politely. Commented May 17, 2021 at 11:40
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    Not your fault, man - you were polite, and grammatically and semantically correct. Who is right doesn't matter. Commented May 17, 2021 at 12:01
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    I had 'thank you for having me' drilled into me by my parents and parroted it out on leaving any visit or stay. Depending on my age, I would either have just blinked, or appreciated the humour, should a friend's mother have replied as this one did. Commented May 17, 2021 at 13:39

1 Answer 1


Just as the others have mentioned, that was a terrible joke cracked by her. However if you'd like to use the same phrase in the future, say "Thank you for having us over" instead.

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