“no” is such a common word, and it makes sense as we deny things all the time. But “no” is also a bit too common.
Probably if I would ask you to deny something in Spanish or I asked you a question with answer would be a negative sentence you would reply with “no”, and it would be totally fine and correct, but it is just too plain, and even tho natives use “no” all the time we also have a wider range of options we can chose from, and today I am going to give you some options from that range, particularly 10 of them so you can sound more like a native and you can make your negative answers and sentences sound a bit more colourful, so if you are up for it, let’s dive in into today’s lesson.
10 Different ways to say “no” in Spanish
Of course this one had to be the first one. Simple and plain way to make a negative sentence.
If you visit your friend and she offers something to eat but you are full you could say
-no, gracias, no tengo hambre. “no, thanks, I am not hungry”
It is quite informal.
Imagine you told your friend you were going to go to the cinema on Thursday, then when you talk to her on Friday she might ask if you did go to the cinema and your answer could be
– ¡Qué va! Estuve trabajando hasta tarde, quizás el fin de semana…”I did not! I was working late, perhaps this weekend.”
3-NO HOMBRE, NO
If you are at the office and it is past 5pm, your boss, if you have a nice one, would ask what you are doing there, you could say
–Quiero terminar este informe para el proyecto, ¿no es para mañana? –“I want to finish this report for the Project, is it not for tomorrow?
And your boss hopefully says
–¡No hombre,no! No hay prisa-“ Of course no! There is not rush”
It Is quite a straight forward way to say no.
If your friend says
-Hace un buen día ¿no?-“It is a nice day, isn’t it?”
– ¡Qué dices! Es un día horrible, ¿has estado fuera?-“What are you talking about! It is a horribel day, have you been outside?”
Qué dices is also used when we want someone (we are familiar with, as it is quite informal) to repeat something.
If you just bought a car (that you love) and one of your friends, that by the way drives quite bad asks you if he can use it for his moving. Your answer most likely would be
¡Ni hablar!-“No way!”
6-NI SE TE OCURRA
Typical way of negative sentence used by Spanish mothers. If a teenager is talking about thinking a tattoo and the mention it to their mums, the most expecting answer might be:
Ni se te ocurra, al menos hasta que tengas 18 años – “don’t even think about it, at least until you are 18”
7-NI LO SUEÑES
Also very typical among mums. If you asked at any point during your teens to your mum if you could go on holidays with your friends to Ibiza for a week you would have heard your mum say
¡Ni lo sueñes! – “Don’t even dream about it!”
8-NI HARTO DE VINO
Here you have 2 for 1, as we can use “ni harto de vino” or “ni muerto” meaning pretty much the same, something you will never do, not now, not even when you are drunk (wine always make us more keen to do things) and not even dead.
-Ni harta de vino voy a hacer punenting, o ni muerta voy a hacer puénting – same thing “I am not going to do bungee jumping, not even when I am dead”
9-POR ENCIMA DE MI CADÁVER
Pretty Similar to the one above, a way to negate something at least until you are dead.
Remember my friend from example number 5, the one who wants to borrow my car for his moving day, I could also say no to him saying:
-por encima de mi cadáver-“Over my dead body”
10-NI EN PINTURA
If you have fought with Carlos and one of your friends aks you if you are going to meet him this weekend but you are still mad at him you could say
Hemos discutido y por el momento no le quiero ver ni en pintura.-“We have had an argument and at the momento I don’t want to see him”
AHORA-Now, it is your turn, please leave a comment below and let me know 3 quick things:
-have you heard these ways of saying “no” before?
-what of the options are you going to chose as your alternative to the simple “no”?
-also I would love to know if you know any other way to say “no” in Spanish.
That is is!,¡es es! As always I hope you enjoyed the blog and found it useful, remember that if my blogs and work in general has ever helped you with your Spanish you can say thank you with a coffee in the following link https://www.buymeacoffee.com/fpVa2ms
Also if you are more of a listening learner, why don’t you come to my YouTube channel and have a look to this week’s lessons in video format here https://youtu.be/llonCuW0_vo ,as you know, the video is totally in Spanish, which it can be a nice listening practice now you know what I am talking about on it.