Invite and Invitation:
“Invite” (accent on the second syllable) is perfectly standard as a verb:
“Invite me to the birthday party and I’ll jump out of the cake.”
But “invite” (accent on the first syllable) as a noun meaning “invitation” is less acceptable: “I got an invite to my ex-wife”s wedding.”
Though this form has become extremely popular, even in fairly formal contexts, it is safer to use the traditional “invitation.”
What is the difference between ‘invite’ and ‘invitation’?
(Sania Kuruvilla, Hyderabad)
Most of us tend to use invite as a verb and invitation as a noun. Pawan made sure that I wasn’t invited to the wedding. He tore up the invitation that was being sent to me. When used as a verb, ‘invite’ has the stress on the second syllable: in-VITE. Nowadays, there is a tendency among native speakers of English to use ‘invite’ as a noun. When used in this manner, it has the same meaning as ‘invitation’. The stress, however, in this case is on the first syllable: IN-vite.
*Harish was disappointed because he didn’t get an invite to the party.
The use of ‘invite’ as a noun is becoming fairly common in informal contexts. Careful users of the language, however, frown upon this. They prefer the use of ‘invitation’.
Substandard Usage: Invite as a Noun
The verb “invite” in place of the noun “invitation” is never correct: (I INVITE you to a party. You receive my INVITATION.) This misuse of “invite” in place of the correct “invitation” probably began by someone trying to be funny. This jokey usage continued knowingly for a while, and those who used “invite” in this manner seemed to understand that they were using the word incorrectly. Unfortunately, the misuse has become so common that many no longer know that it is incorrect. Those who care about the English language will not indulge in this substandard usage. Carolyn Martin