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    #1

    not being able/ are not able

    Dear teachers,

    Would you tell me which of the following two sentences is preferable to?

    1. We regret not being able to accept your offer.
    2. We regret that we are not able to accept your offer.

    Thank you in advance for your efforts.

    Regards.

    V.

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    #2

    Re: not being able/ are not able

    I'd suggest "we are unable to accept your offer".

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    #3

    Re: not being able/ are not able

    Hi jamiep,

    Thank you for your prompt reply.

    Thank you also for your suggestion about a radical change.

    Regards.

    V.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: not being able/ are not able

    I was going to suggest "unable to" as well.
    It's really not that radical to go from I am not able to to I am unable to.

    It can be a good idea to avoid the word not because it's easily missed in a quick reading, but no one is going to mix up "unable" with "able."

    Although you have it phrased in such a way that there could be no doubt,if someone wrote simply "I am not able to attend" a certain number of people will miss the "not" on a first, quick read.

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    #5

    Re: not being able/ are not able

    Hi Barb_D,

    Thank you for your highly qualified explanation.

    I took the plunge to put to the test the following modifications of my original sentence.

    • We regret that we proved uneqal to accept your offer.

    • We regret that we are incapable of accepting your offer.

    • We regret that we are inefficient to accept your offer.

    • We regret that we are inapt to accept your offer.
    Would you be kind enough to share your view again?

    Regards.

    V.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: not being able/ are not able

    Hi vil,

    We regret that we proved uneqal to accepting your offer. This sounds a bit sarcastic

    We regret that we are incapable of accepting your offer. I may be incapable of reaching a high shelf, but really, I have the physical ability to accept an offer. This sounds too literal - like you cannot physically respond with a "yes."

    We regret that we are inefficient to accept your offer. No. Perhaps the problem with your examples is that "accepting an offer" is not something that requires a physical capability or the ability to do something.

    We regret that we are inapt to accept your offer. Not at all!


    Let's try something simpler:
    I'm sorry I couldn't fix the leaky sink for you.
    I'm sorry I was unable to fix the sink.
    I'm sorry I lacked the ability to fix the sink.
    I'm sorry I ...

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    #7

    Re: not being able/ are not able

    Hi Barb_D,

    Thank you for your elaborate explanation.

    Thank you also for your pattern sentences. I have to drill and exercise over them. I think they will be very helpful for me in my future practical work .

    I left with the impression that the mastering of English language involves a lot of logical thinking and work.



    Regards.

    V

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: not being able/ are not able

    I think, also a lot of patience :)
    Don't give up though!

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    #9

    Re: not being able/ are not able

    Hi Barb_D,

    That will take also a lot time and requires special care as well as dogged insistence in order to endure to the end.

    Thank you for backing.

    Regards.

    V.

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