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    politely refuse

    Owing to a sore throat, the president politely refused to make a speech.
    In the above sentence, "politely refuse" is translated literally, and this expression is not as better as the word "decline". So is it more natural to use decline?

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    Re: politely refuse

    It depends on how the president was asked or what was expected- decline is just saying no and doesn't imply any rejection or shirking of responsibility to me, while refused could.

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