How to Accept and Refuse in English

Being able to say something in a basic way is already a victory in another language, but understanding how to politely respond to people is the next step in your English language learning. Find out how to accept something graciously, or refuse politely, with the examples below.

 

Formal acceptance/refusal

 

Question 'Yes' answer 'No' answer
Would you like a piece of chocolate? Thank you, yes I would. No, thank you.
  I'd love some, thank you! Thank you, but I'm alright.
Question 'Yes' answer 'No' answer
Would you like to come to my party tomorrow night? Yes, I would love to attend your party. Thank you for the invitation. I'm sorry, but I can't make it.
Are you free tomorrow evening? I'm hosting a party. Yes, that sounds like fun. Thank you for inviting me. I can't attend, but thank you for the invitation.

 

Informal acceptance/refusal

Question 'Yes' answer 'No' answer
Do you want some chocolate? Sounds great. No, thanks.
Want any chocolate? Sure, thanks. No, but thanks for asking.
Question 'Yes' answer 'No' answer
Do you want to come to my party tomorrow? Sure, thanks for the invite. Thanks for asking, but I'm busy.
Want to come to my party? Sounds great! I'll be there. Sorry, I can't make it.

 

These are some examples of how you can accept and refuse an item or invitation, though there are plenty more.  If you have found yourself in a situation where you don't know how to accept or refuse politely, leave your question in the comments and we will try to help you resolve it!

 

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