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. Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 2:09
  • @Gary'sStudent agreed. You have a party tonight is different from You give... and so on.
    – Maulik V
    Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 10:30
  • The whole group can be the subject of hold or have, but only the host can give or throw a party. Commented Oct 21, 2019 at 2:47

2 Answers 2


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.


"Have a party" and "throw a party" are the same to me, with "throw" being a bit more casual. "Hold a party" to my mind involves a venue that is not my home - "I am going to hold a party at a restaurant or banquet hall."

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