What’s a ‘rain check’? – Now I Know


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Rain check

Rain check is an expression that often pops up in everyday conversation. You may hear it in movies, TV series, and real life English. But do you know what it is?


I’m so sorry I can’t go tonight. Rain check?

I’d love to go to the movies, but I really can’t. I’m swamped at work. Can I take a rain check?

Oh man, I’m sorry I’m going to miss guy’s night. We’ll get a rain check on that drink!



You can probably guess from the context of these sentences that rain check is some kind of a polite and nice way of saying that you can’t go somewhere you are invited or do something with someone. This is a nice and kind refusal because it leaves the door open for another date in the future.

In other words, it basically means, ‘I can’t go now, but let’s get together another time.”



take a rain check on that drink /dinner / lunch / coffee / movies / party / date, etc.

get a rain check



Rain check comes from the practice of giving people a ticket for later use if a game they wanted to attend was rained out. This way they can attend the game with the ticket they already bought. 

Related posts:

Accepting and refusing invitations – Now I know

How to refuse an invitation politely? – Now I know

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