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Student Information

ENGLISH LANGUAGE TIPS

Saying "No"

Learn to say “no” with more information and meaning:

When people answer with one word, “No”, that may seem rude or impolite.  Usually we say, “No, sorry, I can’t or I don’t or I don’t know”.  When people don’t offer a reason why they say NO, it stops all communication and confuses the person who asked the question.  Usually we feel disappointed.  To help keep communication flowing and prevent bad feelings, we should add some information:

With invitations and offers (smile and give eye contact)

  • I’d rather not because…..
  • I’d love to but I can’t because…..
  • I would like to but today I have to …..
  • Sorry, I don’t feel well
  • I’m afraid not, I have to …….
  • No thanks (with a smile)
  • Thank you for asking but I’ll pass this time
  • That’s nice of you to ask but I’m afraid I can’t….

 If someone asks for help and you don’t want to or can’t, it’s a lot better to offer a reason:

  • Oh, I wish I could help but ……
  • I’d like to help but ……
  • Sorry, I already did that / I already gave ….