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Suppose somebody gives you something — for instance, a chocolate — and you do not like it, so you give it back to the person. Is it then correct to say something like this:

Thank you for your kindness, but I am not fond of this.

Which I think means:

Thank you, but I don’t like it.

I think it sounds formal.

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... did you use a spell checker? –  Xavier Hernández Balcázar Sep 2 '12 at 16:33
    
You probably wouldn't use kindness. Kindnesses are usually things that someone does. You'd say, "Thank you for the chocolate." But, unless you thought the thing given is something the giver could use themselves or could return to the store for a refund, I probably wouldn't return it to them- "Thanks, but I took a bite of this chocolate, and I'm not really fond of it. You can have it back." –  Jim Sep 2 '12 at 16:47
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The correct thing to do, even if you don't like it, is to take it, say 'Thank you very much', and then either eat it with a smile on your face, or say you'll keep it for later. –  Barrie England Sep 2 '12 at 16:56
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I'm not sure whether this is a question about English Language and Usage, or a question about etiquette. If it's about English, then yes, your quoted sentence is perfectly correct. In terms of etiquette, it varies from country to country. For example, Barrie's comment above is correct if you are in England; but I have a friend in Croatia who told me that it was quite offensive to her when I behaved this way in a similar situation. That is, honesty would have been more acceptable. –  user16269 Sep 2 '12 at 18:35

2 Answers 2

If someone offered you a chocolate, it would be enough to politely decline their offer and no-one would expect you to give a reason: "No thank you", or "That is very kind, but no thank you"

If you feel the need to give a reason, I would stay quite general. For example, saying "I'm not fond of this" suggests that there is something wrong with their chocolate in particular. If you say "I'm not fond of chocolate" that is more general and less likely to cause offence.

The more general you can be with your decline, the more polite it will seem. Even better, it may be more polite to suggest that you like chocolate, but not right now: "Thank you, but not right now", or "Maybe later".

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"The correct thing to do, even if you don't like it, is to take it, say 'Thank you very much', and then either eat it with a smile on your face, or say you'll keep it for later."

I agree with this answer which was in the comments.

At the risk of sounding racist there is a saying: "Do not accept gifts from Greeks".

"Beware of Greeks bearing gifts"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeo_Danaos_et_dona_ferentes

There are some contexts in which it is inappropriate to accept gifts. In that case you would probably say something like:

"I am very sorry but I cannot accept your gift" or "I am very sorry but we are not allowed to accept gifts".

There is also a problem when something is given as a substitute for a payment. If you have agreed to teach English for a couple of hours you might but unhappy to receive a bunch of flowers for your troubles.

There is an interesting expression:

Cannot be had for love nor money.

http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/for+love+nor+money

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