What is the difference between "hold a party", "have a party", "give a party" and "throw a party"?

Is there any difference in meaning? Can we use them interchangeably?

Could you provide some examples (if any exist) where we can't replace one by another?

  • 4
    In the context of I am going to host a party. they are all equivalent. A colloquial reader/listener would understand your intent with any of the options. – Gary's Student Aug 22 '14 at 2:09
  • @Gary'sStudent agreed. You have a party tonight is different from You give... and so on. – Maulik V Aug 22 '14 at 10:30
  • The whole group can be the subject of hold or have, but only the host can give or throw a party. – Anton Sherwood Oct 21 '19 at 2:47

I think they're all pretty much interchangeable. As I tried to think of an exception, I wondered if throw would be a bit more appropriate for a wild party, and less appropriate for a less festive occasion. However, I found plenty of instances of "throw an office party" on Google, enough to convince me that throw doesn't necessarily imply "wild and crazy."

One additional verb you could use is "host": We are going to host a party on the 11th.

For what it's worth, here's an Ngram, but there's nothing too remarkable there.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.