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Lesson Transcript

Braden:Hi, everyone. Braden here.
Ann: Ann here. Polite Refusals.
Braden: In this lesson, you will learn more phrases to decline offers and make refusals.
Ann: This conversation takes place at the front desk during checkout.
Braden: It’s between the guest and the front desk.
Ann: The speakers have a staff-customer relationship, so they will be speaking professionally.
Braden:Let’s listen to the conversation.
Ann:One of the most difficult aspects of working in a hotel is that, sometimes, customers will not be happy and they may get angry at you. They may complain, be rude, or even offensive.
Braden:At times like these, the good hotelier or restaurant worker will always remain calm and be tactful. Tact is when you talk about something with sensitivity, kindness, and even gentleness.
Ann:For example, in the dialogue, the guest is trying to not pay for something that it seems they should pay for. The guest even gets a little angry toward the end.
Braden:But, the front desk agent doesn’t get angry. She says, “I regret to say but there is no discount.”
Ann:That is a very tactful thing to say.
Braden:Let’s move on to the vocabulary.
Ann:Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Braden:the first phrase we're going to look at is “I’m in quite a hurry.”
Ann:The phrase “I’m in quite a hurry” means that the person is trying to go somewhere quickly. This phrase can be used in many ways. One way is to dismiss someone.
Braden:For example, a coworker asks you if you could help them with something. You could respond with,
Ann:“I’m in quite a hurry.”
Braden:Or, if you ask a guest to do something and they say
Ann:“I’m in quite a hurry.”
Braden:You know to leave them alone, because they are busy. Similar phrases include, “I’m in quite a rush.” and “I’m quite busy.”
Ann:Our next phrase is “I regret to say...”
Braden:The phrase “I regret to say...” is an excellent phrase for apologizing. The first part, “I regret” is very similar to “I’m sorry”, except that you can’t just say “I regret” the way you can say “I’m sorry.”
Ann:You have to regret something and say what that something is. The pattern is to say the phrase, “I regret”, and then insert what you are sorry for right after it.
Braden:That’s right. For example, in the dialogue, the front desk agent said, “I regret...” and then followed it by what she was regretting, which was, “...to say that there is no discount.”
Ann:Exactly. Altogether, it was, “I regret to say that there is no discount.”
Braden:Now let's take a look at the grammar point.
Braden:The focus of this lesson is declining offers and making refusals politely.
Ann:In the dialog we hear the phrase “Could you just take those off my bill for now?”
Braden:While at a hotel, you will receive many offers. Some from salesmen, some from co-workers, and still others from guests. Knowing how to politely decline these offers is one of the marks of a polite person and of a good hotelier.
Ann:So first, we’re going to look at soft refusals. For example, our first phrase is,
Braden:“That’s very kind of you, but no, thank you”
Ann:This is phrase that can be used with any type of offer. If they are offering a service, gift, or something else, you can use this phrase to refuse it.
Braden:Our second phrase is,
Ann:“That won’t be necessary, sir/ma’am, but thank you all the same.”
Braden:This phrase is for refusing an offer of service. When a guest, co-worker, or other person has offered to do something for you, you can use this phrase.
Ann:Our third soft refusal is,
Braden:“I’m afraid we cannot do that, sir/ma’am.”
Ann:This phrase is for when someone requests that you do something or perform some service for them.
Braden:That's right. Sometimes, you may need to be more firm with your refusals. So, let’s take a look at a couple of those firm refusals.
Ann:Our first phrase is,
Braden:“I am terribly sorry sir, I cannot accept it.”
Ann:Use this phrase when someone offers you something, like some food or a piece of jewelry. This phrase is direct and clear that you are unable and will not accept what they are giving you.
Braden:The second firm refusal is,
Ann:“That is out of the question, sir/ma’am, I cannot help you.”
Braden:Use this phrase for when someone offers or requests something inappropriate. The request could be something that is offensive to you personally. Or it could be an offer that is not permitted by the rules.


Braden: That’s it for this lesson. Thanks for listening, everyone!
Ann:And we’ll see you next time!