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Learn how to accept and refuse in English

28th May 2017

Accepting with a simple ‘yes’ or refusing by saying ‘no’ can make you seem impolite. I am sure you don’t want to sound rude in front of your friends or colleagues, so that’s why we are back with another #StudyTip. By reading this article you can learn new forms and phrases for accepting and refusing in English.

Formal acceptance / refusal


Accept = say yes

Refuse = say no

Would you like a biscuit?


Yes, please.

That’s very kind of you. Thank you.  

No, thank you.

I am fine, thank you.

Would you like to come to my party tomorrow?


Yes, I’d be delighted to.

Thank you for your invitation.

I am afraid I can’t come, but thank you for your invitation.

I’m awfully/terribly sorry. I have other plans for that night.

Thanks for asking, but I’m afraid I’m busy.



Informal acceptance/ refusal


Accept= say yes

Refuse = say no

Do you want some chocolate?

Sounds great.

No, thanks.

I can’t. I am on a diet.

Want some chocolate?

Sure, thanks.

No, but thanks for asking.


These are some examples you can use when accepting or refusing an offer or invitation. There are plenty more. If you know more ways of how to accept or refuse politely, leave your suggestion in the comments below!


For more Study Tips, you can read our Study Tips posts.  

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