Contraction of let us.
- Used to form the hortative of verbs, equivalent of the first-person plural imperative in some other languages.
- Let’s eat lunch sometime.
- Let’s dance.
Let’s is always inclusive, which refers to both the speaker and the addressee, while let us is commonly exclusive, which refers only to the speaker.
- Let’s go, we are late. - inclusive we
- Release us and let us go! - exclusive we
Negation of let's is let's not in standard English.
Don't is also used, but it is often considered non-standard.
- Let’s don’t talk about it. (US)
- Don’t let’s talk about it. (British)
Tag questions with let's typically take shall we?.
- Let's go to the beach, shall we?
The form it is derived from, let us, is considered somewhat dated except in formal language.
let us; forming first-person plural imperative
- Arabic: لِـ (li-) (+ the first-person plural of the verb)
- Armenian: արի (hy) (ari), քել (kʿel)
- Bulgarian: хайде (hayde) (+ "да" + the first-person plural of the verb)
- Mandarin: 我們／我们 (wǒmen) + (verb) (optional: 吧 (ba))
- Crimean Tatar: aydı
- Dutch: laten we
- Finnish: -kaamme
- French: (expressed with the first-person plural of the verb)
- German: lasst uns (de), (expressed with the first-person plural of the verb) + wir
- Haitian Creole: annou, ann
- Hebrew: בוא m (bo), בואי f (bo'i), בואו pl (bo'u) + (the first-person plural of the verb)
- Hindi: (infinitive of the verb) हमको ... दो (hi) (hamko ... do)
- Japanese: (volitional form is used, e.g. -ō/-mashō)
- Khmer: តស់ (tɑh)
- Korean: ㅂ시다 (ㅂsida), 자 (ko) (ja), 시죠 (sijyo)
- Lao: please add this translation if you can
- Latin: (they use in the verb subjuctive) simus (let's be), (they use an verb in the subjunctive) simus (let's be)
- Malay: mari, ayuh
- Polish: -my
- Portuguese: -emos, -amos, vamos
- Romanian: (hai) să + first-person plural subjunctive, eg. (hai) să mergem, haide (ro)
- Russian: дава́й(те) (ru) (daváj(te)) + (the first-person plural of the verb), (expressed with the first-person plural of the verb)
- Serbo-Croatian: hajdemo, (slang, contraction) aj'mo, hajde
- Spanish: (expressed with the first-person plural subjunctive of the verb)
- Thai: ...กันเถอะ (...gan tùh)
- Turkish: hadi (tr)
- Vietnamese: hãy (vi)
- let, don’t let’s, let’s, let’s don’t, let’s not, The Columbia Guide to Standard American English, Kenneth G. Wilson, 1993.
- American English and British English, Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language, Tom McArthur, 1998.