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1. If someone offer me something, but I can't have it, can I say " Thank you, but I'm afraid that I have to pass." or " I think I would have to pass" ?

HAVE TO PASS means have to let this opportunity go, right?

2. I know that "would" is a polite way of saying "will", so if it's still happening in the future, can I use "would" ? For instance, " I think I would have to pass on that." Also, when I am not sure whether it's going to happen, do I also need to use "would" ? For instance, " Would you help me on this?"; " I think she would do it." ('cuz I'm not sure if she is really going to do it.)

What's the difference between " I think she would do it." and " I think she will do it."

Many thanks,

S
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1-- 'Have to pass' leaves the interpretation open to various possiblilities worrisome for the listener. Simply say 'No, thank you'.

2-- Yes, if it were a hypothetical future.

What's the difference between " I think she would do it." and " I think she will do it."-- Not much. 'Would' suggests some unspecified qualification.
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sarah881. If someone offers me something, but I can't have it, can I say " Thank you, but I'm afraid that I have to pass." or " I think I would have to pass" ?
... afraid that I have to pass (on that) or ... afraid that I'll have to pass (on that). Those are my preferences.

Be prepared to explain further (I'm allergic to ..., or whatever) if you're asked why you have to pass on it.
sarah88... the difference between " I think she would do it." and " I think she will do it."
Politeness doesn't enter into it in this case.

To my ear, would suggests a more "remote" situation (a situation less likely actually to happen). would is speculative, tentative.

will suggests a more "immediate" situation (a situation that is actually happening or likely to happen). will is realistic, confident.

-- Do you think she would lend me a million dollars? -- I think she would do it.
-- Do you think she will lend me a dollar? -- I think she will do it.

In the first case it is not likely that I'm really going to ask her for a million dollars. I'm just speculating. In the second case, I am probably really going to ask her for a dollar quite soon. I'm wondering, quite realistically, if I will get the dollar.

CJ
Hi CJ,

First of all, I want to thank you for all your answers. You have always given me some great examples; they are easy to understand and really clairfied my confusions.

Now I'm reviewing all the questions I have asked here recently, and regarding "would" and "will", can I ask you one more question?

From my understanding, when we want to ask someone for something or some help, we shall always use " would" instead of "will", just like "could" instead of "can" for showing politeness, Is this right?

example1 : Would / Could you help me to carry this bag? < -- this is more polite than " Will / Can you help me to carry this bag?" and using "Will / Can" sounds like you are blaming someone for not carring the bag for you. Am I right here?

example2: Can I ask you one more question? = Could I ask you one more question? To my understanding, these two are the same, because the subject is "I", not " You" ... If there is some difference, please kindly let me know.

Many thanks, Again.

S.
[Could you / Can you] (please) help me carry this bag?

I see these as very close equivalents. could is regarded as a little more polite, perhaps, but can is perfectly acceptable (at least in the U.S.). Adding "please" makes them even more similar. To my ear, using could makes you look more helpless and more desperate than can, but that may just be my own take on it.

________

[Would you / Will you] (please) help me carry this bag?

I don't use either of these, but they are possible. To my ear, they seem more direct (more bossy, perhaps) than can and could.

________

I don't see anything inherently blaming in any of these examples. Of course, anything you say can be made to have various connotations by the way you use your voice. You can give any sentence a "blaming intonation" or a "helpless intonation" or a "bombastic intonation" or any kind of intonation you want, really. Emotion: smile
________

[Could / Can] I ask you one more question?

The difference between can and could is the same here as with the case discussed above. I don't sense a difference based on whether the subject is I or you. My personal preference is canunless the situation calls for my being very deferential, as with someone of very high status or someone very difficult to please. Emotion: smile

CJ
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