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 'An acceptance must be absolute and unqualified, or must include in itself an acceptance of that character which the proposer can separate from the rest, and which will conclude the person accepting. A qualified acceptance is a new proposal.' (Civ. Code, § 1585.) Contract formation is governed by objective manifestations, not subjective intent of any individual involved. (E.g., Atlas Assurance Co. v. McCombs Corp. (1983) 146 Cal. App. 3d 135, 144 [194 Cal. Rptr. 66]; Meyer v. Benko (1976) 55 Cal. App. 3d 937, 942-943 [127 Cal. Rptr. 846].) The test is 'what the outward manifestations of consent would lead a reasonable person to believe.' (Meyer v. Benko, supra, 55 Cal. App. 3d at pp. 942-943.)


'Occasionally an offeree, out of ignorance or an abundance of caution, will insert a condition in his acceptance which merely expresses what would otherwise be implied in fact or in law from the offer. Because such a condition involves no qualification of the offeree's assent to the terms of the offer, it is not in truth a conditional acceptance, and it does not preclude the formation of a contract.' (2 Williston, Law of Contracts (4th ed. 1991) § 6:15, ...

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