How to Politely Respond to Rejections in English

No one likes to get rejected. Unfortunately, however, in our everyday life, we face rejections in our personal, social, and professional life. So how do you deal with that? As an ESL speaker, do you know how to respond to rejections in English?

Alright! Here comes the solution if you are wondering how to do it. In this post, I’ll share some English expressions and exclusive tips to respond to rejection.  

To respond to rejection in English, you can say, “I respect your opinion and completely understand,” or “It’s okay that you let me know how you think about this.” You should accept the refusal, stay positive and respond to the rejection with polite English words, tone, and body language.

25 Examples of General English Responses to Rejections

Appropriate words, polite voice tone, and positive body language are essential while responding to rejections in English. In addition, you must accept the rejection with utmost positivity and react to it accordingly. Remember! The responses—spoken & written may vary depending on the situation—formal or informal.

Now, let’s learn some useful general English expressions to respond to a rejection in English.

  1. It’s fine. Thank you.
  2. Alright. No problem. I am okay with that.
  3. I respect your opinion.
  4. I understand. No problem. Thanks.
  5. I completely understand what you said.
  6. It’s okay. No problem. Thanks for letting me know.
  7. It’s okay that you let me know what you think about this.
  8. Oh, I see! That’s fine. Thanks for being specific about the problems.
  9. No problem. I am glad that you cared to let me know the reasons.
  10. I really appreciate that you clearly expressed what you think.
  11. It’s absolutely fine. I hope to work with you in the future.
  12. I understand my limitations now. I’ll surely improve my skills and try again. Thanks.
  13. Thanks for letting me know about the decision you made. It was great being in touch with you.
  14. I appreciate that you expressed your mind clearly. Not a problem. Thanks.
  15. It feels amazing to be introduced to you. I hope to work with you in the future.
  16. It would be a great pleasure for me to join your team. Anyways! Wish me luck with the next project.
  17. It’s okay, sir. I’ll keep informing you about the other offers.
  18. Alright! May I offer you something else?
  19. Don’t worry. I can very well understand the situation.
  20. Thank you for letting me know.
  21. I’m sorry to hear that you can’t make it. Anyways! Hope to be together next time.
  22. I completely understand the situation you are in. Don’t worry at all. Take care, dear.
  23. It’s a pity that you can’t accept it. It would’ve been so much fun if you were here.
  24. Thanks for your response before it’s too late. Wish you can make it next year.
  25. Thanks for your timely response. No worries. I’ll be able to manage. 

How to Respond When Your Request Is Rejected

Respond to Request Rejection

In our everyday life, we interact with a lot of people, and we usually happen to make polite requests to them. That means you ask something from them or ask them to do something for you. However, it’s not always possible for them to accept your requests.

So, how should you react if you get rejected by someone after making any request to them? Here, we’ll learn some English expressions you can use to respond to rejections.

Request: Would you please take notes of the important parts of the discussion?

Rejection: I’m sorry, I can’t. Let’s listen to the speakers instead of taking notes.

Response: Oh, it’s okay. No problem.

Request: Can you help me shut that window, please?

Rejection: I am afraid I can’t feel like moving now.

Response: Oh! It’s fine. Let me try.

Request: Could you turn on the lights, please? I can’t sleep.

Rejection: I need some more time to complete this reading. Can you please wait?

Response: Oh sure, no problem. I’m waiting.

Request: Can you pass me that salt?

Rejection: Help yourself. (Impolite)

Response: Alright! No problem. Enjoy your meal.

Request: Would you please meet me this afternoon?

Rejection: I am afraid it’s not possible today.

Response: I understand you might be busy with work. No problem.

Request: Could you please reduce the price?

Rejection: Sorry, sir! The price is fixed.

Response: Oh, I see! Alright then. Do you have other products like this at a lower price?

Request: I wonder if you could drive a little slower.

Rejection: My daughter is ill. I must reach there in an hour.

Response: I completely understand the situation you are in. Don’t worry at all. Drive safe.

Request: Could you please give me a hand with my luggage?

Rejection: Sorry, I got some injuries on my hand. Should I call someone for you to help?

Response: Oh! I’m sorry to hear that. I hope you recover soon

Request: Can you please change the music?

Rejection: Why! It’s my favorite. (Impolite)

Response: It’s okay then. I wonder if you could lower the volume a bit.

Request: Please water the plants when I am not home.

Rejection: I can’t. I don’t like to do it. (Impolite)

Response: Alright! I’ll try to come back soon.

Note: No matter whether someone rejects your request in polite or impolite ways, you must respond to them politely.

How to Respond When Your Offer Is Rejected

Respond to Offer Rejection

In our personal and professional life, we are used to offering to people surrounding us and vice versa. For example, if you are in a family program or at an official event, offering things or help to others is a very polite gesture in English culture.

Sometimes people accept our offers, and they also reject as well. However, if you get rejected by offering something to someone, what should you say as a response? Here, we’ll learn some English expressions you can use to respond to rejections.

Offer: Would you like to have a cup of coffee?

Rejection: Not now, please. Thanks, by the way.

Response: Alright! May I offer you anything else?

Offer: May I offer you a lift?

Rejection: Thanks for your offer. But my husband is coming to pick me up.

Response: That’s great. Say “Hi” to him for me.

Offer: Can we have a coffee this evening?

Rejection: Not really! I’ll have to be home then.

Response: Oh, I see! No problem. Some other day maybe.

Offer: Would you like a trip to Europe with me?

Rejection: I’m not sure. Probably not.

Response: You may try to manage. It would be a great trip, I guess.

Offer: Is it okay if I compensate you with a different offer?

Rejection: I am afraid I am not interested in anything except this.

Response: I understand entirely. Let me try to find a better solution then.

Offer: I would like to plan a different project. Will you be able to be a part of it?

Rejection: I think it will not be possible for me. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Response: I’m sorry to hear that you can’t make it.

Offer: I would like to offer the sales executive position instead of the marketing executive.

Rejection: I’m sorry that I can’t take this offer. My dream has always been to work in the marketing department of this corporation.

Response: I really appreciate that you clearly expressed what you think. Let me see what I can do for you.

Offer: I can give you another dress. Is that okay?

Rejection: I’m sorry, but I want that particular dress because it was the last gift from my mother.

Response: Oh, I see! I’m sorry that I lost it. Let me try my best to find it.

Offer: Are you interested in a home loan? We have several options for you to pick up from.

Rejection: No thanks. I already have a loan.

Response: It’s okay, sir. With your consent, May I inform you about some best offers in the future?

Offer: I want you to be the captain. Is that okay for you?

Rejection: Sorry, I think I’m not ready enough to take this pressure.

Response: Thanks for your response before it’s too late. Wish you can make it next year.

How to Respond When Your Suggestion Is Rejected

Respond to Suggestion Respond

We, as social beings, live hand in hand. To help others, we give suggestions and expect suggestions from them. However, if you suggest someone something and they reject your advice, how would you reply to them? Will you become angry and burst out, or you talk to them softly and politely?

We’ll learn some very useful English expressions that you can use to respond to the rejections of suggestions.

Suggestion: You should go there to support others.

Rejection: I’m afraid that I can’t make it.

Response: It’s okay then. I should go then. What do you think?

Suggestion: You better take a break from work.

Rejection: I’m sorry to disagree. I don’t feel like taking a break now for so many reasons.

Response: Alright! I’m sure you have valid reasons for thinking in this way.

Suggestion: I think this plan may work better.

Rejection: I’m afraid I entirely must disagree because my experience says something different.

Response: I respect your opinion! But can we still give it a try?

Suggestion: We can travel by train.

Rejection: Yes, we can! But what about a bus journey?

Response: Yes, but I think the train is safer than the bus. Isn’t it?

Suggestion: You must watch this historical movie.

Rejection: I am sorry to say that I don’t like history.

Response: Okay! I appreciate that you let me know what you think about this. But I still recommend you watch this. You’ll enjoy it for sure.

Suggestion: Why don’t you bring your guitar?

Rejection: Sorry to say this, but I don’t like playing guitar anymore.

Response: I appreciate that you expressed your mind clearly. Not a problem. Thanks.

Suggestion: I suggest a proper diet and workout if you want to stay healthy.

Rejection: You are absolutely right, but I don’t like dieting.

Response: I understand. If that’s the case, you should work out more.

Suggestion: You should practice more to master English.

Rejection: Yes, I know, but I don’t like practicing it alone.

Response: Oh, I see! You can join ESL Advice Community.

Suggestion: I suggest visiting Sundarbans if you are in Bangladesh.

Rejection: I’m not sure. I’m not fond of forests that much.

Response: Okay! If you like seas, you can visit Cox’sbazar.  

Suggestion: I advise you to always keep an English-to-English dictionary with you.

Rejection: I’m sorry, but I don’t like to carry books.

Response: You can have an online version or mobile application of that.

How to Respond to Rejection When You Ask for Permission

Respond to Permission Rejection

In your daily life, you experience different situations, both at home and work, when you need to ask for permission from others to do something. Do you always get permission or sometimes get rejected?

I think you face both situations. However, if you get rejected, how do you deal with it? What do you say when you need to respond to the permission? Well! No worries. In this part of the post, we’ll learn how to respond to the rejection while you ask for permission in English. 

Permission: May I call you if it’s late?

Rejection: Please don’t.

Response: It’s okay.

Permission: Can I use your pen?

Rejection: I am sorry, but this is my only pen.

Response: I understand. No problem. Thanks.

Permission: Would you please allow me to use your laptop?

Rejection: I hope you don’t mind. Actually, this is my official laptop. Its uses are restricted.

Response: I completely understand what you said. Thanks for being so clear about it.

Permission: I need to call my parents. May I use your phone?

Rejection: You could certainly call if I had enough credit. I am sorry for the inconvenience.

Response: Oh, I see! It’s fine. Thanks.

Permission: Is that okay if I cook tonight for all of you?

Rejection: Are you sure? I think you should better do the shopping.

Response: Alright! I respect your opinion.

Permission: I wonder if I could sit beside you.

Rejection: Sorry. The seat is reserved for my friend.

Response: Okay! It’s absolutely fine.

Permission: Can I have your car for a few days?

Rejection: I usually don’t give my car to someone. I am sorry, but I can arrange one for you.

Response: I’m glad that you expressed your mind. And thanks that you cared.

Permission: Mom! May I go to the park after school?

Rejection: No, I must say. You should come back home and take some rest.

Response: That’s okay, mom. I’ll be home.

Permission: I wonder if I could have more time to complete it.

Rejection: Sorry, I can’t spare any extra time for that. I have to submit it to the client by today.

Response: Thanks for your timely response. No worries. I’ll try my best.

Permission: Will you please allow me to take my baby to work?

Rejection: I wish I could, but we don’t have childcare facilities here.

Response: Thanks for letting me know.

7 Tips to Respond to Rejections in English

Tips to Respond to Rejection in English
  1. Always respond to rejections. You should not ignore, stay indifferent or remain silent.
  2. Don’t overdo it while responding to rejections. Instead, spread positivity by expressing that it’s okay for you. You can try to convince them once rejected, but don’t do it too much. Instead, try to understand the situation and find if there is any scope to try again.
  3. Be positive in every aspect. If someone rejects you, that doesn’t mean you have lost all the opportunities. Believe that good times are ahead.
  4. Be careful about your choice of words. Only your appropriate words can help you express disappointment without disappointing others.
  5. Politeness is the key. Be polite in your voice tone and body language.
  6. Always thank people no matter how sad you have become after the rejection.
  7. Respond to any rejection with proper eye contact and a polite smile.

In Conclusion

In our everyday life, we experience different situations. Some go in favor of us, and some go against us. Getting rejected is always very disappointing. However, you should handle it and respond appropriately to it. As an ESL speaker, you must know proper English expressions to respond to rejections.

I have discussed some English expressions for responding to rejections in the above post. I hope it’ll help you in the future to do it right.

Thanks for reading.

Happy learning!

Niaj A A Khan

Niaj A A Khan is an ESL Instructor with over 7 years of experience in teaching & developing resources at different universities and institutes. Mr. Khan is also a passionate writer working on his first book, "Learn English at Ease."

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