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Let's suppose you are asked about confirming or denying an occurrence or a story or something like that and you don't want / cannot accept or deny it; what is the fixed term / sentence for this meaning in US? I literally translate what I would say in my mother language; please let me know if it works in AE in these ways:

  • I neither accept nor refuse this statement.

  • I neither accept nor reject this statement.

  • I neither accept nor deny this statement.

I would be really thankful if you clarify whether there is a preference between these three sentences or they are identical.

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    "I can neither confirm nor deny this statement." You will hear that one a lot when people don't want to or are not allowed to tell you the truth for whatever reason (like an official police press conference for instance). It has also become a meme over time. You do not accept/refuse a statement, you just confirm/deny it (unless you refuse to believe it or something). – MorganFR Jul 27 '16 at 9:17
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    @MorganFR +1 you should make that an answer – Peter Jul 27 '16 at 9:49
  • refuse is incorrect, but you can say refute. Here is a definition: dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/refute – JavaLatte Jul 27 '16 at 10:08
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    @Peter This does not really qualify as an answer because I did not answer his question, which was "Which one of these 3 sentences". I rather just offered a new possibility as a better alternative in my opinion, although I explained why his other 3 weren't all that great. If the OP wishes me to make that an answer, then I will. – MorganFR Jul 27 '16 at 10:37
  • @MorganFR I do agree to make it an answer, because it is exactly what I needed to know. Thank you very much for such a great answer... – A-friend Jul 27 '16 at 11:59
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I would not use either of those sentences. You do not typically accept or refuse a statement, unless you refuse to believe it or something along those lines.

The prefered idiom is:

I can neither confirm nor deny that statement/information.

It means that you do not want to or are not allowed to tell the truth for whatever reason. This is typically often used during interviews or official police press conferences.

It has even become a meme used on pictures of Obama, Grumpy cat or Fry for instance.

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I neither accept nor refuse this statement.

I neither accept nor reject this statement.

They sound strange because both the verbs refuse and reject mean "not accept". Maybe this is why you won't find them collocating with the noun statement.

I neither accept nor deny this statement.

This is correct, the meaning of the verb deny being "declare untrue; contradict" and to deny a statement being the right collocation.

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