“Don't feel obligated to come if you're too busy.”

English Lesson: Don't feel obligated to come if you're too busy.

You're having a party next weekend. You want to invite one of your friends, who's a very busy person. You don't want to make her feel pressured, so you say this.

Don't feel obligated to come if you're too busy.

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feel obligated to (do something)

"Feeling obligated" to do something means that you feel like you have to do it. You're afraid that it would be rude not to do it.

People usually feel obligated to do things for social reasons, like because a friend or neighbor asked them to do it. For instance, if someone gives you a gift, you might "feel obligated" to give them a gift back in return. We usually talk about "feeling obligated" to do things that we don't want to do.

You can use this phrase in a sentence like this:

I feel obligated to help because, you know, he helped us out a couple of months ago.

I don't really want to go, but I feel kind of obligated.

You can also tell someone not to feel obligated to do something:

Don't feel obligated to come if you're too busy.

come (to an event)

When do you use "come" and when do you use "go" to talk about attending an event? Here are some guidelines:

  • Use "come" to talk about an event that you're having at your house or office, or that you're organizing.
    I'm having a party. Do you want to come?
  • Use "go" for an event that you're not going to attend.
    I'm not going.
  • Use "go" for something that you're planning to go to, but use "come" to talk about the listener joining you:
    I'm going to this Halloween party. Do you want to come?