Smart and Polite ways to say 'NO' in English - Free Spoken English Lesson
Here is a good rule to keep in mind about English; it is often better to be polite than it is to be direct. English speakers often use more words than are necessary to say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ because they are adding polite words to the simple messages they are trying to get across. If you are too direct in saying ‘no’ in English this can be considered rude. Let’s take a look today at some different, polite, ways to say ‘no.’
You might want to practice these new expressions often, so you don’t have to worry about appearing rude when speaking English to native speakers.
Here are some polite ways to say ‘no’ to a request for help:
I would love to help you, but …
I wish I could help you, but …
Normally I would be able to, but … or Normally I would say yes, but…
Unfortunately now is not a good time for me….
Polite ways to say ‘no’ to an offer that you do not want to accept:
I appreciate the offer, but …
That would be great, but ….
Thank you for the offer, but …
Polite ways to say ‘no’ to an invitation:
That sounds great, but….
I’m sorry I can’t come that day/night. I have …
I really appreciate the invitation, but…
I wish I could come, but unfortunately …
Okay, now let’s practice using these expressions in context with a few scenarios. Here are three situations in which you need to find a polite way to say ‘no.’
Scenario 1: Your neighbor is moving to a new apartment and comes over at the last minute asking for help moving her furniture. You have to prepare for a big presentation so you are too busy to help.
I would love to help you, but I am really busy working on a presentation for work right now, so I am not free.
I wish I could help you, but I have a lot of work to do for a presentation I am making tomorrow.
Normally I would be able to, but I have to prepare for my big presentation that is happening tomorrow.
Unfortunately now is not a good time for me, I have to work on an important presentation.
Scenario 2: Your boyfriend offers to pick you up from work, but you already have plans to have drinks with your co-workers and so you don’t need a ride home.
I appreciate the offer, but I was planning on having drinks with my coworkers.
That would be great, but just not tonight, because I am having drinks with my coworkers.
Thank you for the offer, but I have plans already to have drinks with my coworkers. Why don’t you come and have drinks with us!
Scenario 3: You are invited to a party at a co-workers house, but you don’t really like the co-worker and don’t want to go.
That sounds great, but I can’t make it this time.
I’m sorry I can’t come that night. I have other plans already.
I really appreciate the invitation, but I am not going to be able to make it this time.
I wish I could come, but unfortunately I won’t be able to be there. Have a great party.
Tagged under: English lessons,Free English,English lesson,English video,vocabulary,business English,Grammar,learn grammar,English speaking,spoken English,learn English,speak English,speaking English,fluent English,fluency English,English training video,speak fluent English,accent training,American accent,British accent,US accent,UK accent,personality development,words,sentences,public speaking,presentation,soft skills, ,phrases,idioms,listening skills
Clip makes it super easy to turn any public video into a formative assessment activity in your classroom.
Add multiple choice quizzes, questions and browse hundreds of approved, video lesson ideas for Clip
Make YouTube one of your teaching aids - Works perfectly with lesson micro-teaching plans
1. Students enter a simple code
2. You play the video
3. The students comment
4. You review and reflect
* Whiteboard required for teacher-paced activities
With four apps, each designed around existing classroom activities, Spiral gives you the power to do formative assessment with anything you teach.
Carry out a quickfire formative assessment to see what the whole class is thinking
Create interactive presentations to spark creativity in class
Student teams can create and share collaborative presentations from linked devices
Turn any public video into a live chat with questions and quizzes