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What can be said when I need to dismiss an expectation?

Here are some examples of what I mean by "expectation":

  • I ask someone what time it is, then I remembered that I'm actually wearing a watch. The person expects to tell me what time it is but I no longer require help. (Expectation created by me)

  • I suspect I do not have enough coins to buy a drink from a coin-only vending machine. I ask someone for change. However I discover that I indeed have enough coins with me. The person still carries an expectation to help me although I no longer require help. (Expectation created by me)

  • A waiter offers to refill a glass. He is expected to serve me because of the nature of the job. I do not wish to have a refill. (Expectation not created by me)

I came up with もう要らない but I think saying that is unnecessarily direct in conveying "I no longer need (help)".

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1  
For "expectation not created by me", I think I've sometimes heard お構{かま}いなく, but I'm not sure whether it's appropriate in that situation or not. –  cypher Feb 10 '12 at 1:19
3  
@cypher That's good too, but it may be too polite if you say it to a waiter. In Japanese society, waiters (or any other kinds of shop clerks) are supposed to be inferior to the customer. If you are a guest, invited to someone's home, then the word is a perfect fit. –  sawa Feb 10 '12 at 1:22
    
@cypher. You should put it as an answer as well. –  Flaw Feb 10 '12 at 2:11

2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

As Sawa said, やっぱりいいです works when the expectation is created by you. いいです works when the expectation was not created by you.

If you want to be more respectful, you can use (やはり)結構{けっこう}です.

There is also a variant (やっぱり)大丈夫{だいじょうぶ}です which is heard a lot, but some insist that this use of 大丈夫 is wrong or strange.

Just to warn you, もう要らない sounds quite rude. もう (anymore) could be taken as if you don't need the help anymore because the help wasn't given early enough. 要らない sounds a bit like "I don't need and I don't want".

The いい/結構 variants are really the best, similar to English "I'm fine, thanks".

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Would もういいです be rude too? –  Flaw Feb 10 '12 at 12:08
    
I would avoid もう altogether, as it sounds like the help was given too late. やっぱり sounds like the speaker changed her/his mind and therefore has no accusatory nuance. –  dainichi Feb 10 '12 at 17:11

In your "expectation created by me" cases, the normal way to say it is:

やっぱり、いいです。
'After all, I'm okay (without your help)'.

In your "expectation not created by me" case, the normal way is:

けっこうです。
'No thank you.'

But depending on intonation, けっこうです may be heard as offensive, just as the English "no thanks" is. So be careful. If you say it gently, it suffices.

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