What is the difference in the meaning between "I am not going to be able to help you" and "I will not be able to help you"? Is there any?

  • 2
    That's just "I can't help you" remixed with various elements of futurity and continuity and inevitability all mixed in as flavor enhancers of dismissive politeness. – tchrist Aug 8 at 15:09
  • Which one is more polite? Why? – yewgeniy Aug 8 at 15:18
  • I suggest the first is more polite, because it is not such a direct refusal. It implies that if I could find a way to help you, I certainly would, but unfortunately there isn't any way I can see that happening. But arguably, the second is polite as the more direct answer, instead of weasel words. – Weather Vane Aug 8 at 15:23
  • I feel it this way too. It might be the answer to my question. – yewgeniy Aug 8 at 15:34
  • There is no standard for politeness in language. Politeness is a social matter and depends on the relation of the speakers and addressees, which may dictate totally different styles in different situations. – John Lawler Aug 8 at 22:45

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