You have made a new friend, and they invite you to meet their family. The day goes so well that they ask you if you would like to stay for dinner. After dinner, you politely make your exit, and you thank them for everything. Before you go out the door, you hear your friend’s mom say, “You are always welcomed.” Is this the right thing to say?
It is incorrect to say, “You are always welcomed,” because it mixes the present and the past tenses. Verb tenses need to agree. The correct form is “You are always welcome” because “are” and “welcome” agree. This informs whomever you are addressing that in the future, you will accept them into your home.
In this article, we will discuss why “You are always welcomed” is an improper use of “welcomed” and what you should use instead.
What Does “You Are Always Welcomed” Mean?
“You are always welcomed” is intended to express appreciation. When native English speakers say, “You are always welcome,” they feel comfortable with someone to the point where they can enter their house anytime. “You are always welcomed” would not work because it implies that they were welcome – presently.
First, we will discuss what the essential words of the sentence mean. When addressing someone else, we use the term “you.” “Are” is the version of the verb we use for you.
“Always” means “at all times.” “Welcomed” is the past-tense version of “welcome.” When people welcome others, they greet them and accept them somewhere in a friendly way (source).
So, if you are trying to tell someone they will be warmly received by you at any time, you could say, “You are always welcome.” Since this expression only uses present tense verbs, the sentence displays internal consistency.
The person who hears, “You are always welcome,” knows that the person to whom they are speaking could receive them warmly at any time – from now into the future. If you change “welcome” to “welcomed,” you can confuse your audience.
How “Welcomed” Can Confuse Your Audience
Technically, the sentence “You are always welcomed” is grammatically correct, but this form more often describes a characteristic about a person.
For example, if someone is often mopey in their appearance, you can say something like, “You are always defeated” or “You always seem saddened.”
“Defeated” and “saddened” are states of being, meaning they describe the character or personality of someone. Since “welcomed” does not belong in the same family of descriptors, it could seem strange to others, and they may ask themselves what you could be trying to say.
We most often use the word “welcomed” to relate the details of a story to an audience (source). For example:
- His parents warmly welcomed Private Dahmer when he returned for winter block leave.
In this example, His parents greeted Private Dahmer warmly because they missed him when he was away. It does not describe his parents or Private Dahmer; it just describes what happened when Private Dahmer returned home for block leave.
In short, it would behoove you to use the present tense when expressing your gratitude and ability to receive someone warmly. Grammatically speaking, there will be much less confusion if you say, “You are always welcome” instead of “You are always welcomed.”
How Do You Use “You Are Always Welcomed”?
People primarily use “You are always welcome” to thank their guests for the excellent company they provided. We can also use it to express how we would happily redo the favor you did for someone if they need it. Native English speakers avoid using “You are always welcomed” as an expression.
There are other circumstances you could also use “You are always welcomed,” such as in a sarcastic setting or in a joking way. If, for example, someone steps on his best friend’s foot, the dialogue could evolve this way:
- Speaker 1: “Ouch! Hey! Watch where you’re walking!”
- Speaker 2: “No worries, man. You’re always welcome.”
Or, if you were joking with your best friend, and you said something that would generally be hurtful to a stranger, you could also say, “You’re always welcome.” The dialogue would go something like this:
- Speaker 1: “Do you see that person looking at me?”
- Speaker 2: “No one would be looking at you. You’re not that pretty.”
- Speaker 1: “Wow! Thanks a lot!”
- Speaker 2: “You’re always welcome.”
In this instance, close friends have a sarcastic exchange. The first friend expresses that the other is most likely seeing something that is not there in a playful way. Then they exchange facetious thanks. This behavior is quite common in all English-speaking countries, especially Britain, so it is helpful to know and understand.
These are just some of the ways in which we use “You are always welcome,” but as previously stated, we avoid using “You are always welcomed.”
When Can You Use “You Are Always Welcomed”?
“You are always welcomed” should only come about if the speaker wants to say that, up until this point, the person they are addressing has been welcome. This would almost exclusively happen during a misunderstanding. In all other circumstances, you would use different tenses in the expression.
This is why we avoid using “You are always welcomed” and use “You are always welcome” instead. This excludes getting into confusing situations; it makes your guests or company feel good about spending time with you and makes them value your presence.
As previously discussed, you can use “You are always welcome” as playful banter, genuine thanks and appreciation, or telling someone that you would happily help them (again, presumably) in the future.
On the other hand, you would never really use “You are always welcomed.” If you want to express that someone had always been welcomed up until a certain point when they did something to make that feeling change, you would say, “You used to be welcome.”
Even in that scenario, you would avoid using “welcomed.” You would only use “welcomed” to describe how someone had been welcomed into an establishment during the events of an evening, not as a standing welcome status.
We have three main methods to express the different forms of past tense in English (source).
- Simple past tense: “I welcomed you.”
- Past perfect: “When I walked in, I felt like I had been welcomed.”
- Past progressive: “I was welcoming my guests.”
In What Context Can You Use “You Are Always Welcomed”?
Use “You are always welcome” to express your thanks and appreciation to your friends and family. You can also use it as a bit of cordial sarcasm for people with whom you are particularly close if you show them something they should have already observed. You should refrain from using “You are always welcomed.”
People often use “You are always welcome” after hosting a dinner party or social gathering at their house. If the hosts appreciate your company, people commonly say, “You are always welcome.” They typically say it right before you walk out the door to end the night on a good note.
You can also use the sentence as a playful tease between friends, but people who speak English typically only say it sarcastically when they know the other person very well. Be careful when using it playfully because not everyone appreciates sarcasm.
Since “You are always welcomed” only creates confusion, you should not use it. Just use “You are always welcome” instead, and there will be no confusion. You will not have to correct or clarify yourself in front of your beloved guests.
When Not to Use “You Are Always Welcomed”
Avoid using “You are always welcomed” in general because the mixture of tenses is confusing and incorrect in most cases. You should also avoid using expressions similar to it when talking to people who make you uncomfortable.
Maybe you just do not want to keep them company again. Whatever the unfortunate circumstance, avoid telling them they are “always welcome.”
For example, even though you can use the sentence in a playfully sarcastic way, you should avoid using it towards people you genuinely dislike. The absence of this important formality will cause the disliked party to at least question whether or not you appreciated their presence or contribution to the evening’s events.
Since no one enjoys bad company, refrain from using “You are always welcomed” towards people you do not appreciate. Doubly avoid “You are always welcomed.”
While it may be awkward to confuse people whose presence you enjoy, it is even more uncomfortable to have inevitable follow-up conversations with the disliked parties to clarify whether or not they have an open invitation to your place.
Sometimes friends enjoy faux pas, but such a social blunder, among others, can create discomfort at the very least and a bad reputation after that.
Now that we have described the situations in which you would use and would not use “You are always welcome” rather than “You are always welcomed,” we can show you some more examples of how to use it in different kinds of sentences.
Using “You Are Always Welcomed” in a Full Sentence
It is helpful to know that “You are always welcomed” is a full sentence in and of itself. There is a subject and a verb, which makes it a full sentence.
You should know that “You are always welcome” is in the passive voice. Verbs can either be in the active or the passive voice. The active voice uses action verbs, and the passive voice uses passive verbs.
- Passive voice: “I am welcomed.”
- Active voice: “I welcome you.”
You can also place “You are always welcome” in compound and complex sentences.
The following is an example of a compound sentence:
- You may have hoarded the chips tonight, but you are still always welcome.
Here is an example of it placed in a complex sentence:
- You can drop by anytime since you are always welcome.
People use this expression quite often when striking new friendships with coworkers or from new social circles. Here are some things you can say instead of “You are always welcome.”
What Can You Use Instead of “You Are Always Welcomed”?
What would you say to a new friend to tell them how much you enjoyed their company? You could say various things to make them feel accepted and appreciated. Lots of these expressions can have a great personal touch, but there are always some trusty go-to’s.
Here is a short list of things you can say to people who made your evening:
- It was so nice having you!
- Come back anytime!
- We should do this again sometime!
Here is a short list of things you can say if you were doing someone a favor for which they thanked you:
- I know you would do the same for me.
- Think nothing of it.
- It was a pleasure.
These are what you could call the trusty expressions that see wide use in English-speaking countries. If you want to personalize your message to your guests or friends, the only limit is your imagination.
Polite Expressions in the Passive Voice
Polite expressions are ones that you tell acquaintances for reasons of decorum. Decorum is a set of social rules. For example, saying thank you after receiving a gift or a favor from someone is polite.
The passive voice describes a sentence model in which the subject is being done unto by someone or something else. In “You are always welcome,” you will be accepted instead of doing the accepting.
Here are some examples of polite expressions in the passive and active voices:
- Please note.
- Thank you for helping me today.
- I appreciate you.
- You will be missed.
- You are cordially invited.
- You are most welcome.
This formula will prove helpful in your English journey because lots of us speak in the passive voice in our day-to-day conversations. Once you master a polite sentence like “You are always welcome,” you will be well on your way to sounding like a native speaker.
This article was written for strategiesforparents.com.
Read our articles on Is It Correct to Say “You Will Be Missed”? and Is It Correct to Say “You Are Cordially Invited”? to learn more about using the passive voice in polite expressions.
Remember that no one really says, “You are always welcomed,” and you should avoid using it. Use “You are always welcome” to express consistency in the present tense so that your audience understands your sentiments.
Avoid being sarcastic too quickly, and express sincere thanks often towards those you would like to see again in the future. Once you master “You are always welcome,” you will be well on your way to being completely fluent.