Someone said "Do you want me to wait for you?" I don't want to cause any trouble to her. Which sentence is the most apppropriate?

"Thank you, but you don't have to."

"Don't bother about it."

"Don't bother waiting for me."

Also if there is any difference in the implications between "not bother" and "not have to", could you explain it?

  • I think your first and third options are fine, but the second one sounds just a little awkward to me. If you asked me for a third alternative, I might suggest, "No, there's no need to do that," but I wouldn't consider that any better than your first and third options. – J.R. Jun 9 '13 at 8:42

Logically speaking, You don't have to is a simple statement of fact which your friend is free to act on or ignore at her discretion, while Don't bother is a request that she should specifically not do the indicated action.

In practice, however, there is no functional difference between the statements; Don't bother may be considered more informal, but that's about it.

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Which ever option you go for, thank your friend for the offer.

In general, "you don't have to" can seem as if you're close to accepting the offer. ("You don't have to, but thanks that would be great.")

On the other hand, "don't bother" can seem a bit negative - it's often used when you're a bit irritated with the other person. ("Oh, don't bother!", walks out, slamming door...)

Maybe the best option would be to thank them, but assure them that you'll be fine.

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