LESSON 5: Denying and refusing in a polite way

Download LESSON 5 as a PDF file.

WARM UP. THINK:

 

?Most men would rather deny a hard truth than face it.? 
George R.R. MartinA Game of Thrones

martin

 

    • Do you agree with the quote?
    • Can you give an example of a situation that reflects the meaning of the quote?

 

 

 

REMEMBER!

1st meaning:  TO DENY = to say that something is not true

  • + THAT
  • + ING SOMETHING

 

 

SPEAKING
Inform your friend / colleague about the following facts, using the verb ?to deny?:

– your colleague did not admit that he had been accepted to this project         
– your boss did not allow you to have a day off
– your friend said that he had not sent this letter
LISTENING AND WATCHING

Watch the video and learn the polite phrases for denying and refusing:

And answer the questions:

1. Describe the situation that Niharika talks about in case of denying a request?
2. Describe the situation that Niharika talks about in case of declining an invitation?
3. What phrases can you use to deny an offer?
4. Give examples of the phrases with the words:  ?but? and ?however??
5. Why is it useful to add a reason of your denial?

 

 

USEFUL PHRASES FOR AGREEING AND DISAGREEING
Order the phrases into the proper columns.

  • I appreciate the offer, but?
  • That sounds great, but?.
  • I?d love to help you, but right now I?m really busy with?.
  • I really appreciate the invite, but?
  • Normally I?d be able to, but right now I have to?.
  • Thank you for the offer, but my schedule is full at the moment.
  • I wish I could, but right now I need to focus on?.
  • I?m sorry I can?t that night. I have to?.
  • That would be great, but I?m already working on?.
?No? to a request A?No? to an offer ?No? to an invitation
Click here, to see the key!

?No? to a request ?No? to an offer ?No? to an invitation
I?d love to help you, but right now I?m really busy with?. I appreciate the offer, but? That sounds great, but?.
I wish I could, but right now I need to focus on?. That would be great, but I?m already working on?. I?m sorry I can?t that night. I have to?.
Normally I?d be able to, but right now I have to?. Thank you for the offer, but my schedule is full at the moment. I really appreciate the invite, but?

MORE PHRASES FOR AGREEING AND DISAGREEING POLITELY
  • Sorry, I’m afraid I can’t?
  • Sorry, but I wouldn?t particularly like to?
  • Thank you, but it’s not my idea of a fun afternoon out
  • Sorry, I’m not really fond of driving for the fun of it.
  • That’s very kind of you, but I really have toget back to the city.
  • Thank you (thank you for asking, thank you very much, etc.) but, I have to?
  • I would love to help you, but?
  • Unfortunately now is not a good time for me?
  • I appreciate the offer, but?
  • That would be great, but?
  • That sounds great, but?
  • I wish I could come, but unfortunately?
  • I wish I could help you, but?
  • Normally I would be able to, but? or Normally I would say yes, but?

 

TIPS FOR POLITE AND DIPLOMATIC LANGUAGE WHEN SAYING ?NO?.

  1. Make a statement of regret 
    (I?m sorry?, I?d really like to, but?I appreciate the offer, but?, etc.)
  2. Explain why the answer is ?no.?  
    (I?m really busy right now, We aren?t available that weekend, etc.)
  3. Offer an alternative, if possible.
    (I might be able to do it next week, John might be able to help you with that, etc.)
READING

Read the text and find out more phrases for saying ?no? in English:

http://www.englishtown.com/community/Channels/article.aspx?articleName=155-sayno

SPEAKING
Practice the polite expressions for polite denying and refusing by using the phrases from the videos and exercises above, in the following situations.

Your friend has invited you to a party. You have to stay longer at work. Refuse the invitation politely and say the reason.
Your colleague has asked you to meet his client instead of him. You have an important presentation for your boss. You can not go.
Your brother has asked you to help him with his removal. You are going on a business trip.
Your colleague has asked you to go out after work. You already have plans for the evening.
Your colleague has asked you to help him with his project. You are too busy with your own work.
PAIR WORK

Work with your friend/colleague and practice the phrases in situations above. Try to keep the conversation going for a bit longer. Improvise.