Sometimes we ask others to do something for us, and they do not reject our request, but do not promise to do it either; they give us a maybe-answer such as "I don't promise, but will try to do my best" or "If I got some spare time". Is there any word/phrase for such kind of answer to requests?

  • To me a "maybe" is a fairly positive reception .. vs "not sure" which is a different response. Could you provide any guidance on that ? Both of your examples 'will try my best' and 'if I have some spare time' indicated a generally positive "no commitment as to when" not "let me think more about it"
    – Tom22
    Apr 21, 2018 at 21:18
  • Do you mean they shrug their shoulders and maybe wobble a hand? With a "Nyeh?" vocalization?
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 21, 2018 at 21:24
  • acknowledgement was a thought of mine.. I wrote up an answer and deleted it pending more info from OP but it would be better if the question more a noun meaning "a mildly positive response without commitment" or certain attitudes of response.
    – Tom22
    Apr 21, 2018 at 21:43
  • The required sentence in single-word-request questions help clarify what you would be trying to say.
    – Tom22
    Apr 21, 2018 at 21:45
  • I would add, that almost all words describing human actions carry some baggage with them .. often in their secondary meanings... which paint a picture of apathy, openness, friendliness, supportiveness etc. A word of classification might not be a word you'd like to use in description of a person's verbal response
    – Tom22
    Apr 21, 2018 at 21:56

2 Answers 2


a noncommittal response or answer TFD

Refusing commitment to a particular opinion or course of action; not revealing what one feels or thinks:


tentative response ?

  1. Not fully worked out, concluded, or agreed on; provisional.
    American Heritage Dictionary

"I don't promise, but will try to do my best"
"If I got some spare time"

Both of these sound subject to change so I'd say tentative or provisional.

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