What Does RSVP Stand For in English?

Get an in-depth understanding of the term ‘RSVP’. Discover what it means, its origins and importance, various types and proper etiquette. Uncover why it’s more than just a request for a response to an invitation.

An Introduction to RSVP

RSVP is an initialism borrowed from the French phrase ‘Répondez s’il vous plaît’, which literally translates to ‘Respond, if you please’ in English. Essentially, it’s a polite request for a response from guests to an invitation.

The Importance of Understanding RSVP

Understanding the meaning and proper use of RSVP is important both for hosts and guests. For hosts, it’s a critical tool in event planning. Knowing how many guests will attend helps in preparing the right amount of seating, food, drinks, and souvenirs, among other things. For guests, responding accurately to RSVP is a display of respect towards the host’s effort and resources in organizing the event.

Types of RSVP

  • Traditional RSVP: Here, guests are expected to respond using the same method as the invitation was sent.
  • RSVP with menu choices: In this case, guests are expected to indicate their meal preference from the options provided.
  • RSVP through websites/Apps: This is a trend in modern day event planning. Guests can confirm their attendance through event planning apps or websites.

RSVP Etiquette

It’s considered improper etiquette to fail to respond to an RSVP request, or to confirm attendance and fail to show up. It’s equally frowned upon to show up without confirming, or to bring additional people that weren’t accounted for.

This etiquette has a strong grounding in practicality, as by accurately responding to an RSVP, guests assist the host in ensuring the event is a success.


Ultimately, the term ‘RSVP’ stands for a principle of polite social engagement. It’s a tool that helps ensure successful events, but more importantly, it’s a demonstration of respect for our hosts and consideration for other attendees. By understanding what RSVP stands for and using it properly, we participate in creating more enjoyable and respectful social environments.

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