46 Unique Ways To Say No In Spanish + Pronunciation - SpanishToMind (2024)

Do you know how to say ‘no’ in Spanish correctly?

I mean, you could say ‘no’ just like you do it in English and people would understand, but…

What if you need a different kind of ‘no’?

Like when you say something to let the other person know that there’s nothing in this world that’s going to make you say ‘yes’?

A simple ‘no’ wouldn’t work for a situation like that.

That’s why I prepared this blog post so that you can learn:

  • How to simply say ‘No’ in Spanish.
  • How to clearly say no when you don’t want to do something
  • How to say ‘no’ in the clearest way possible.
  • Expressions to say ‘Don’t you dare’ to warn the other person to respect your ‘no’.
  • And how people say ‘no’ in my city (Medellín, Colombia).

You’ll learn all this as you go through 46 different ways to negate in Spanish in all these different contexts.

Learning these different ways to give negative answerswill give you the clarity to express yourself correctly when you talk with native speakers.

So, I hope you’re excited amigo because we’re about to get started!

How To Simply Say ‘No’ In Spanish

Literally, ‘No’ in Englishis the same as ‘No’ in Spanish.

Because of that, this is the first word on our list today:

1- No

The pronunciation is the same, only with a slight difference in the letter O.

It would sound more like the ‘o’ in the English word ‘normal’.

Just read this out loud, and you’ll catch the sound:

‘Noh’.

That’s it, you go it!

Now, Spanish native speakers also play a little bit with this word and use variations to replace it:

  1. Nop
  2. Nah

There’s nothing that adds a special meaning to these last two words.

They just mean ‘No’.

However, I have to mention thatpeople use ‘nah’ when they say no with a skeptical or reluctant tone.

You know, like when you don’t believe something will happen for real.

For example:

¿Vienes a ver la película que te dije?(You coming to see the movie I told you?)
Nah, no me gustan las películas de acción.(Nah, I don’t like action movies)

4- No, Gracias

Another way to simply say no is by adding a thank you right next to your ‘no’.

This way, you’ll sound like a polite person, like this:

  • No, gracias (NOH-GRAH-SEE-AS)

For instance:

¿Qué tanta azúcar le pongo a tu café?(How much sugar would you like me to put on your coffee?)
No, gracias; lo prefiero sin azúcar (No, thank you, I rather not having sugar)

Now, another way to directly say no is:

5- Pues No

If you add ‘pues’ before no, it might mean two things:

  • You’re hesitant to answer or…
  • You want to communicate the idea of a well-thought-out negative answer.

The key to differentiating these two contexts lies inthe tone of the answer.

The first one would make ‘pues’ a little longer to pronounce, like when you’re not sure of what to say.

And the second one would come out of you quickly and without a doubt.

For example:

**Hesitant answer**

¿Tienes dinero?(Do you have money?)
Pues… no(uh…no)

**Well-thought-out negative answer**

¿Quieres que me vaya de tu casa?(Do you want me to leave your house?)
Pues no(No).

Common Expressions To Directly Say ‘No in Spanish

46 Unique Ways To Say No In Spanish + Pronunciation - SpanishToMind (1)

It’s very common to hear native speakers using words with different meanings when they mean no.

While writing this post, I realized that I use them all the time.

These are some of them, and please notice their literal meanings in front, and their pronunciation in parentheses:

  1. Nada (NAH-DAH): Nothing
  2. Nunca (NOON-KAH): Never
  3. Jamás (HA-MÁS): Never
  4. Para nada (PAH-RAH-NAH-DAH): For nothing
  5. De ningúna manera (DEH-NEEN-GOO-NAH-MAH-NEH-RAH): No way.

See how these words have different meanings.

Of course, you could use them according to their translations for other kinds of sentences.

But they all work perfectlywhen you want to negate something in Spanish.

For example, look at the following question:

¿Te gustaría tener hijos en el futuro?(Would you like to have children in the future?)

Let’s say your answer is something like:

No, I have no patience for kids.

You may replace ‘no’, with any of the last 5 expressions and the idea would keep being the same:

  • Nada, no tengo paciencia para los niños
  • Nunca, no tengo paciencia para los niños
  • Jamás, no tengo paciencia para los niños
  • Para nada, no tengo paciencia para los niños
  • De ninguna manera, no tengo paciencia para los niños

Interesting, right?

Now, you may as well consider these two more options to imply a direct ‘no’ in Spanish:

  1. Claro que no (CLAH-ROH-KEH-NOH): Of course not.
  2. Obvio no (OVEE-OH-NOH): Of course not.

They combine the word ‘no’ with words thatmake it obvious to the other person that the answer is no.

For example:

¿Te gusta el reggaetón?(Do you like reggaetón?)
Por supuesto que no(Of course not)

¿Te gusta esa chica?(Do you like that girl?)
Obvio no(Of course not)

How To Say ‘I Don’t Want To’ In Spanish

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So far, you’ve been learning how to simply say ‘no’ in Spanish.

But, what if you need to say that you don’t want to do something?

Then you may use the following phrases:

  1. No quiero (NOH-KEE-EH-ROH): I don’t want to
  2. No me apetece (NOH-MEH-AH-PEH-TEH-SEH): I don’t want to

For example:

  • No quiero jugar tennis(I don’t want to play tennis).
  • No me apetece ir a caminar hoy(I don’t want to go walking today).

The following phrases might also work if what you mean is something like‘I don’t feel like it’:

  1. No tengo ganas de… (NOH-TEN-GOH-GAH-NAS-DEH): I don’t feel like it.
  2. No me da la gana (NOH-MEH-DAH-LAH-GAH-NAH): I don’t feel like it.

Just be careful with‘No me da la gana’.

That’s a very haughty phrase, and it’s commonly used in arguments.

Example:

¿Por qué no vienes cuando te llamo?(Why don’t you come when I’m calling you?)
— Porque no me da la gana(Because I don’t feel like it)

Example:

No tengo ganas de ver películas(I don’t feel like watching movies today).

On the other hand, if you want to sound polite, you may say:

  1. Mejor no (MEH-HOR-NOH): I better don’t.
  2. Quizás la próxima (KEE-SAS-LAH-PROC-SEE-MAH): May be next time.
  3. Mejor otro día (MEH-HOR-OH-TROH-DEE-AH): It’s better another day.

With all the three previous phrases, you’re not saying no directly.

Instead, you’re saying that right now is not a good moment.

Example:

¿llamarása esa chica linda?(Will you call that pretty girl?)
Mejor no, creo que no le gusto(I better don’t, I think she doesn’t like me)

Example:

¿Vamos a ver el partido hoy?(Are we going to watch the game today?)
Quizás la próxima, estoy un poco enfermo(Maybe next time, I feel a little sick)

How To Say ‘No’ In The Clearest Way Possible

46 Unique Ways To Say No In Spanish + Pronunciation - SpanishToMind (3)

Alright, amigo or amiga!

Now, let’s explore the power of saying ‘no’ in Spanish with unwavering clarity.

Sometimes, a simple ‘no’ just doesn’t cut it.

You want your rejection to be crystal clear.

So let me share with you some phrases that will leave no room for ambiguity:

20. ¡Qué No!

Pronunciation: KEH-NOH

When you want to emphasize the strength of your denial, this phrase packs a punch.

It’s not just a ‘no’.

It means that you already said no, and now you’re saying it again so that it’s the clearest no.

Example:

¿Vas a participar en la competencia de baile?(Are you going to participate in the dance competition?)
¡Qué no!(Absolutely not!)

21. Absolutamente No

Pronunciation: AB-SOH-LOO-TAH-MEN-TEH-NOH

When you need to leave no room for doubt, ‘absolutamente no’ is your go-to phrase.

It conveys a firm and unequivocal rejection.

Example:

¿Te gustaría trabajar el fin de semana?(Would you like to work on the weekend?)
Absolutamente no(Absolutely not).

22. Nunca, Jamás En La Vida

Pronunciation: NOON-KAH-HA-MÁS-EN-LAH-VEE-DAH

This phrase takes your denial to another level by adding a touch of permanence.

It translates to “never, not ever in my life.”

But, what you’re saying is‘no, and it’ll never happen’.

Example:

Te gusta Mónica, ¿verdad?(You like Mónica, don’t you?)
Nunca, jamás en la vida(Never, not ever in my life).

23. ¡Jamás de los jamases!

Pronunciation: HA-MÁS-DEH-LOS-HA-MAH-SEHS

This is a variation of the previous phrase.

I like to think of it as the expression ‘never in a million years’ that we use in English

Example:

¿Cambiarías de opinión sobre mudarte?(Would you reconsider moving?)
¡Jamás de los jamases!(Never in a million years!)

24. Porque No Y Punto

Pronunciation: POR-KEH-NOH-E-POON-TOH

This phrase shuts down any further discussions.

It’s as if you were saying “My answer is no, period”.

In other words,there’s just no space for more questionswhenever someone asks you to give a reason and your answer is an unbeatable ‘no’.

Example:

¿Porque no puedo ir a la fiesta entonces?(Why can’t I go to the party then?)
Porque no y punto(My answer is no, period).

25. ¡No Es No Y Punto!

Pronunciation: NOH-ES-NOH-E-POON-TOH

Echoing the sentiment of a famous slogan, this phrase firmly establishes that‘no’ means ‘no,’ and there’s no room for negotiation.

Example:

¿Podrías hacer una excepción?(Could you make an exception?)
¡No es no y punto! (No means no, period!)

26. Dije Que No

Pronunciation: DEE-HE-KEH-NOH

Simple, direct, and to the point.

‘Dije que no’ translates to ‘I said no,’ conveying that you already said yes and that you’re not willing to change your mind.

Sounds pretty much like a father giving no permissions to children, right?

Example:

¿Puedes comprarme este juguete papá?(Can you buy me this toy dad?)
Dije que no(I said no).

27. Por Supuesto Que No

Pronunciation: POR-SOO-POO-ES-TOH-KEH-NOH

While ‘por supuesto’ typically means ‘of course,’ adding ‘que no’ flips it into a strong denial.

It’s a great wayto emphasize the unexpectedness of the refusal.

Example:

¿Aceptarías el trato?(Would you accept the deal?)
¡Por supuesto que no!(Of course not!)

Related: How to Say ‘I Don’t Speak Spanish Well’ So That You Don’t Sound Disrespectful

28. ¡Qué Va!

Pronunciation: KEH-VAH

When you want to dismiss a suggestion or proposal emphatically, ‘¡Qué va!’ serves as a strong and decisive rejection.

Example:

Pareces enamorado, ¿estás enamorado? (You look like you’re in love, are you in love?)
— ¡Qué va! (No way!)

29. ¡Ya Basta!

Pronunciation: JAH-BAS-TAH

Translating to ‘enough is enough,’ this phrase is ideal when you want to communicate that you’ve reached the limit of your patience or tolerance.

If you say this, it means you want the other person to stop doing what he or she is doing.

Example:

¿Puedo pedirte otro favor?(Can I ask you for another favor?)
¡Ya basta!(Enough is enough!)

30. ¡Suficiente!

Pronunciation: SOO-FEE-SEE-EN-TEH

This one works pretty much like the previous phrase.

People use it when they’ve had their fill and want to put an end to something.

‘¡Suficiente!’makes it clear that you’re not willing to entertain it any longeror to accept more requests or questions.

Example:

¿Quieres seguir discutiendo este tema?(Do you want to keep arguing about this?)
¡Suficiente!(Enough!)

31. ¡No Más!

Pronunciation: NOH-MÁS

Meaning ‘no more,’ this phrase signifies that you’ve had your fill and there’s no room for negotiation.

Example:

¿Puedo pedirte otro favor?(Can I ask you for another favor?)
¡No más!(No more!)

32. ¿Cuántas Veces Tengo Que Decir Que No?

Pronunciation: KOO-AN-TAS-VEH-SEHS-TEN-GOH-KEH-DEH-SEER-KEH-NOH.

This is a rhetorical question that expresses frustration.

This phrase translates to ‘How many times do I have to say no?’

And of course, the answer shouldn’t be a number.

If you throw this question, you’re implicitly saying thatno matter how many times the other person asks, your answer will keep being no.

Example:

¿Te gustaría intentarlo de nuevo?(Would you like to try again?)
¿Cuántas veces tengo que decir que no?(How many times do I have to say no?)

How To Say ‘Don’t You Dare’ in Spanish

46 Unique Ways To Say No In Spanish + Pronunciation - SpanishToMind (4)

In certain situations, a simple ‘no’ won’t be enough for people who want to persuade you to do something or to get a yes from you.

When you need to convey a strong and assertive ‘don’t you dare’ in Spanish, the following phrases help you make your point crystal clear:

33. Ni Te Atrevas

Pronunciation: NEE-TEH-AH-TREH-VAS

This phrase is a strong warning, signaling ‘don’t you dare’ with a sense of urgency and seriousness.

Example:

¿Puedo hablar con tu mamá?(Can I talk to your mom?)
Ni te atrevas(Don’t you dare).

34. Ni Hablar

Pronunciation: NEE-AH-BLAR

Literally translating to ‘not to speak,’ this phrase carries the weight of ‘don’t even think about it’ or ‘don’t you dare to say a word’.

Example:

¿Considerarías esa opción?(Would you consider that option?)
Ni hablar(Don’t even think about it).

35. Ni Lo Pienses

Pronunciation: NEE-LOH-PEE-EN-SEHS.

When you want to emphasize the prohibition of an idea or action, ‘ni lo pienses’ conveys a strong ‘don’t even think about it.’

Example:

¿Deberíamos cancelar el proyecto?(Should we cancel the project?)
Ni lo pienses(Don’t you dare think about it).

36. Qué Ni Se Te Ocurra

Pronunciation: KEH-NEE-SEH-TEH-OH-KOO-RAH.

This phrase combines a warning with a sense of disbelief, expressing a stern ‘don’t you even dare to think of it’.

Example:

¿Puedo decrile a papá lo que hiciste?(Could you leave it for later?)
Qué ni se te ocurra(don’t you even dare to think of it).

37. Ni Se Le Ocurra

Pronunciation: NEE-SEH-LEH-OH-KOO-RAH

This phrase is just a variation of the previous one, indicating an idea like ‘don’t let it cross your mind.’

Example:

¿Tienes pensado rechazar la oferta? (Are you planning to reject the offer?)
Ni se le ocurra, ¡la tiene que aceptar! (Don’t you dare, you’ve got to accept it!).

38. Ni Lo Intentes

Pronunciation: NEE-LOH-IN-TEN-TES

When you want to discourage someone from attempting something, ‘ni lo intentes’ firmly conveys ‘don’t you even dare to try.’

Example:

— ¿Quieres hablar con profe para negociar tus notas?(Do you want to talk to the teacher to negotiate your grades?)
Ni lo intentes (don’t you even dare to try).

39. Ni En Tus Sueños

Pronunciation: NEE-EN-TOOS-SOO-EH-NEE-OS

Meaning ‘not even in your dreams,’ this phrase delivers a powerful ‘don’t you even dream about it’.

With this phrase, you’re strongly suggesting that a certain situation will never happen and has no chance of becoming reality at all.

Like when an insisting man pushes a woman to go out with him on a date, and the girl wants to make it clear that it’ll never happen.

Example:

¿Te gustaría salir conmigo?(Would you like to go on a date with me?)
Ni en tus sueños(Not even in your dreams)

Related: 23 ways to say beautiful woman in Spanish

How Do Colombians Say No In Spanish

All right, we’re almost at the end of a post.

But before we wrap up, I want to share one of the sections that I get more excited about.

As some of you probably already know, I am Colombian.

And in this country, we have our own flavored ways of saying no.

These are some of the most colloquial expressions Colombians use to give negative responses in conversations:

40. ¡No Ome!

This is a direct ‘no’, and it’s often used with a touch of familiarity and ease among friends or acquaintances.

‘Ome’ for Colombians works the same as when you say ‘man’ or ‘dude’ as a filler word in English.

So we may say that ‘No ome’ means ‘No, dude’

Example:

¿Quieres venir al partido de fútbol? (Do you want to come to the soccer game?)
¡No ome! (No, dude!)

Related:19 Ways To Say Dude In Spanish Slang

41. No Mijo(a) – No Parcero(a)

‘Mijo’ for men, or ‘Mija’ for women adds a touch of friendliness and gives your tone informality.

And the same happens with ‘parcero’ or ‘parcera’ in Colombia.

They all mean ‘dude’ or ‘buddy’, and it’s super common to hear among Colombians.

Example:

¿Vamos al concierto este fin de semana?(Are we going to the concert this weekend?)
No mijo, mejor otro día(No, dude, maybe another day).

42. Qué No Papito – Qué No Mamita

This is a casual way to say ‘no’ while maintaining a friendly tone.

Also, if you’re adding this ‘Qué’ to the phrase, it conveys that you already said ‘no’ and that you’re repeating and making a clear no.

As for ‘papito’ or ‘mamita’, these are just some funny ways to say buddy to men and women for Colombians.

It’s like a playful ‘darling’ with no romance included at all.

Example:

¿Te gustaría ir a bailar?(Would you like to go dancing?)
Qué no papito, estoy cansada(No, darling, I’m tired).

43. ¡Ahora No Hay Forma!

Literally meaning ‘now there’s no way,’ this phrase conveys a sense of impossibility or unavailability.

It emphasizes the current unfeasibility of the request.

And just a quick side note, this phrase is super popular in Medellín city.

Young people use it all the time to give negative answers with sarcasm as if they were saying:

“There’s no way, and there will never be a way for that to happen”.

Example:

¿Podemos hablar ahora?(Can we talk now?)
¡Ahora no hay forma! (Now there’s no way!)

44. Negativo

A straightforward term borrowed from military language to respond negatively to questions.

It isn’t like Colombians speak like soldiers, they just like to be funny and play with words around.

Example:

¿Quieres un poco más de comida?(Do you want a bit more food?)
Negativo, ya estoy lleno(No, I’m already full).

Related: 20 Funny Spanish Phrases That Native Speakers Use In Their Daily Conversations

45. Negativo Al Civil

Just as the previous phrase, this one comes from the military.

Like when a regular person asks a question to a soldier and, the answer is negative, the soldier would then reply with this phrase:

“Negativo al civil”.

In daily life, people say it as a playful way to say ‘no,’ in a very informal context.

Example:

¿Te gustaría ser mi compañero de equipo?(Would you like to be my team partner?)
Negativo al civil, hoy no voy a jugar tenis(No, I’m not playing tennis today).

46. Ni por el berraco – Ni por el chiras

These expressions use local slang to emphasize a strong refusal, suggesting that there’s no chance or possibility whatsoever.

‘Berraco’ means ‘the strongest’ and ‘chiras’ is slang for the devil.

So if you use any of these phrases, you’ll mean that you won’t do something even though you had to face the devil himself.

Example:

¿Podemos cambiar de planes?(Can we change the plans?)
Ni por el chiras(Absolutely no way).

There You Go!

Today you’ve gathered a list of 46 different ways to say no in Spanish.

There’s always a context in which each of these phrases fits, so make sure you use them wisely.

Even if you want to use the Colombian ways to negate in this language, make sure you’re ‘no’s means no.

Also, remember that the more vocabulary you learn, the easier it’ll be for you to understand and communicate with native speakers.

So, the next time you find yourself at the crossroads of affirmation and negation in Spanish, remember that there’s more than one way to say no in this language.

Related: 15 Unique Ways To Say Yes In Spanish

Oh…!

And before I go, I’d like to hear from you:

Is there another way to say no in Spanish?

Something I haven’t covered in this post?

Share that with me in the comments below:

46 Unique Ways To Say No In Spanish + Pronunciation - SpanishToMind (2024)

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