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From what I understand, "食べましょう" and "食べよう" both imply, more or less, the same meaning, which is 'to invite someone to eat with them', the latter being a verb conjugation of the volitional form, the more casual 'ましょう'.

However, "食べる", the base verb which means 'to eat', is much more commonly used for the invitation message. I would like to know why that is so, and when have people started to use it, so much so, that is has become a colloquial phenomenon.

Thank you.

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    Much more commonly used according to whom? I completely disagree with that. – istrasci Sep 18 '20 at 2:58
  • @istrasci op maybe talking about this? youtube.com/watch?v=BlY-Qdc52vU not sure about it being more common or not... the same teacher has a whole lesson about よう use for inviting as well. – Felipe Chaves de Oliveira Sep 18 '20 at 3:26
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However, "食べる", the base verb which means 'to eat', is much more commonly used for the invitation message.

No. 食べる is not used as an invitation like ~ましょう/~よう, both of which roughly mean "Let's eat it". The plain form is used in the following situations:

  • To state the speaker's own will

    食べる!
    I'll eat it!

  • As a question to check someone's will (used with a rising intonation)

    食べる? ⤴
    Wanna eat?

    (Note that this can sometimes work as a casual invitation, but basically it's just a question.)

  • Less commonly, as an imperative (used by a parent, teacher, etc. Plain form as imperative)

    食べる!
    Eat it!

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