Conversational Structures With Let
Let can be used to introduce suggestions and orders. We can use let us to make suggestions to a group that includes the speaker. Note that let is followed by object + infinitive without to.
- Let us go. (Formal) (Let + object + infinitive without to)
- Let’s go. (Informal)
- Let us go for a walk. (Formal) (Let + object + infinitive without to)
- Let’s go for a walk. (Informal)
- Let us pray. (Let + object + infinitive without to)
The structure let + object + have + noun is also possible.
- Let us have a drink. (Formal) (Let + object + have + noun)
- Let’s have a drink. (Informal)
- Let us have a chat. (Let + object + have + noun)
Giving instructions to oneself
Let me is used to give instructions to oneself. The expressions Let me see and Let me think are very common.
- Let me just finish my homework and I will play with you.
Giving instructions to a third person
Let can also introduce a suggestion or order for someone or something else, not the speaker or hearer.
- ‘Your boyfriend is going out with another girl.’ ‘Let him. I don’t care.’
Shall we? is used as a question tag. Let’s is used as a short answer.
- ‘Let’s go for a walk, shall we?’ ‘Yes, let’s.’
There are two possible negatives, with let us not (let’s not) and do not let us (don’t let us).
- Let us not despair. OR Do not let us despair.
- Let us not forget those who came before us. OR Do not let us forget those who came before us.