Can somene help ? I am still struggeling on "rejected,refuses and decline"

How should the following espressed in common English ?

Our proposal / offer was rejected or declined / refused by or from the customer/company ?

  • 3
    proposals are said to be rejected. People decline invitations. And I refuse to give you an answer. :)
    – Lambie
    Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 16:04
  • @Lambie I reject your refusal to answer, but decline to comment why. :)
    – Andrew
    Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 17:49
  • @Andrew Well, no worries then. I accept your rejection. :)
    – Lambie
    Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 18:53
  • @ Lambie & Andrew - Really funny :-)
    – FrankMK
    Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 19:35

1 Answer 1


Decline X means you do not want X, but doesn't necessarily imply that there is anything wrong with X.

Reject X is related to two Latin words together meaning "throw back". It means not only do you not want X, but you think X is bad and needs to return to where it came from. It implies you think there is something wrong with X.

Refuse X comes from French words that are related to "reject". It has similar meaning to reject, but doesn't have as strong of an implication that it should go back to where it came from to be fixed, it more implies you won't accept it.

Reject as a noun means "something/someone that was rejected," while refuse as a noun is pronounced differently and is synonymous with "garbage." (Decline as a noun means a slant downward.)

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