accept this apology


Senior Member
Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect

Let's say someone who once made me very unhappy and now he wants to say sorry for what he'd done, but I don't want to forgive him at all, can I say:

I don't accept this apology.

Thanks a lot
  • Yes, that is good English. People also say "I don't accept your:thumbsup: apology."
    I think your is probably much more common, because it's much more personal, which is usually what is wanted, since disputes between two people are face-to-face and thus VERY personal indeed.:)

    While "this apology", true, is correct English, to me it sounds too abstract, almost as though you are talking about an apology written on a piece of paper, waving it, and pointing to the written words.

    Scrawny goat

    Senior Member
    English - Ireland
    "I cannot accept your apology" is another possible formulation. It implies that there is a reason." I do not" can sound more pig-headed.


    I wonder why anyone would want to sound rude by saying "I don't accept your apology"?:rolleyes: If a person realizes that they've done wrong, why not forgive them? It's always good to be polite to people - whether you personally know them or not.

    I wonder why native speakers (who always try to be polite to native/non-native students on this forum;)) would respond in such a rude/derogatory way.
    Perhaps someone could explain?



    Senior Member
    Canadian English

    Also possible: Your apology is not accepted.

    (crossposted at this time with Lun-14, who's touching on the point I want to address). Maybe I just don't get myself in these kinds of situations much, but I frankly can't see myself ever saying this or "I don't accept your apology" to anyone. Nor do I remember ever hearing anyone say something like this. There are other ways to convey your sentiments without being so needlessly blunt. Just don't overtly accept their apology, and they'll notice that you're not forgiving them, meaning that you're still quite angry at them.

    -I'm sorry for what I did.
    -Yup. Just don't do it again.

    If I was really quite angry at the other person and I really did want them to know, then "I don't accept your apology/your apology is not accepted" would sound rather robotic and textbooky. Shouting something like "You can take your apology and shove it (up your ass)" would be much more appropriate. Edit: This is not something I'd say in real life either. I suspect that most people want to live a drama-free life and would avoid saying things like this in most situations as well.


    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I suspect that most people want to live a drama-free life
    Unfortunately not in my experience.

    Given that Silver wants to adopt this attitude, his words (with the suggested improvements) are fine in English. We have no idea what this other person is apologising for and whether they did it in an appropriate way. I would give the OP the benefit of the doubt and not try to tone down a perfectly acceptable response.

    "I don't/can't accept your apology" isn't in itself rude.

    The exact words a native English speaker might use would be heavily dependent on the context and on the personalities of the two people involved.
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