When No Means No: 16 Different Ways How to Say No In Spanish

When No Means No: 16 Different Ways How to Say No In Spanish

Do you know how we say 'no' in Spanish?

It's similar to English, 'no,' only the pronunciation is a bit different. 

No matter if people are beginners or even don't know a word in Spanish, the words 'yes' and 'no' are familiar to everyone.

And it can be helpful, especially if you don't speak Spanish but are visiting some Spanish-speaking countries.

But Spanish learners have to know more than just saying 'no.'

Just like in English, French, or German, there are different ways to say 'no' in Spanish.

It can be especially useful in situations when one 'no' isn't enough but you have to express your negation or rejection the other way.

Therefore, in the following lines, you will learn about 16 different ways to say 'no' in Spanish.

And now, let's dive in.

16 Different Ways to Say ‘No’ In Spanish

Usually, the word ‘no’ is so strict and direct that it expresses everything you want to express at that particular moment.

However, in many cases, you can use the following 16 different ways of saying ‘no’ in Spanish, which can result in much stronger negation.

So, no matter if you are just practicing conversations for beginners, or you are in some advanced proficiency level, knowing these 16 different ways of saying ‘no’ in Spanish enriches your vocabulary and also gives you the benefits so that even Spanish tutors see you as a true Spaniard.

Nunca 

Meaning: Never

Pronunciation: noong-kah

This word is a pretty straightforward way to say 'no' in Spanish, so it's impossible to misunderstand the speaker.

 

Example

¿Te casarás conmigo? (Will you marry me?)

¡Nunca! (Never!)

Cállate 

Meaning: be quiet

Pronunciation: kah-yah-teh

This expression is quite strong and it can be understood as very rude so we suggest you use it only with people you know well.

Example:

¡Cállate ya! (Be quiet now!)

De Eso Nada 

Meaning: It’s not happening

Pronunciation: deh eh-soh nah-dah

Use this one to express a firm negative answer to a suggestion.

Example: 

Hoy te toca a ti poner la mesa. (It's your turn to set the table today.) 

¡De eso nada, lo hice ayer! (No way! I did it yesterday!)

De Ningura Manera

Meaning: no way

Pronunciation: deh neeng-goo-nah mah-neh-rah

Usually, this phrase is considered more formal than some others but in general, it is used in the meaning ‘by no means’ or ‘certainly not.’

Example:

Alexandro no puede ser parte de esto de ninguna manera. (Alexandro can't be part of this in any way.)

Jamás!

Meaning: Never

Pronunciation: hah-mahs

This word is a stronger way to say ‘no’ in Spanish.

Its synonym is the word ‘nunca’ and both of them can be used in situations when you talk about something you’ve never done or said, nor you ever will.

Example:

Jamás se lo diría. (I'd never tell him)

¿En Serio?

Meaning: Are you serious?

Pronunciation: ehn seh-ryoh

In situations when you are so surprised that your speaker asks you something that even shouldn’t be asked, you can use this expression.

Example:

Tom está saliendo con Susan. ( Tom is dating Susan.)

¿En serio? (Oh, really?)

Lo Suficiente

Meaning: It’s enough

Pronunciation: loh soo-fee-syehn-teh

When there is enough of something, you don't need any more of something, 'lo suficiento' or 'it's enough' is enough, indeed.

Example:

No tenemos suficiente para pagar la mesa. ( We don't have enough to cover the table.)

Ni Hablar 

Meaning: Forget it, no way

Pronunciation: nee ah-blahr

This phrase is used when something is completely wrong that you can't even consider.

Example:

Papá, ¿me prestas el coche? (Dad, can I borrow your car? )

¡Ni hablar! (No way!)

Ni lo Sueñes 

Meaning: No way

Pronunciation: nee loh sweh-nyehs

This phrase is equivalent to the English 'in your dreams!'

Not only that you can use it instead of ‘no’ but also to hear it in many different contexts, even romance novels.

Example:

Absolutamente no, ni lo sueñes. (Absolutely not, I wouldn't dream of it.)

Ni Se te Occura 

Meaning: Don’t even think about it

When someone has a bad idea about something, this phrase can be used as a negative answer.

Example:

Vale, ni se te ocurra romper una promesa que me hagas. (Okay, you don't want to break a promise to me.)

No Gracias

Meaning:  No, thank you

Pronunciation: noh grah-syahs

If you want to refuse someone in a polite way, 'I’d rather not,' you can use 'no gracias.'

Example

¿Quieres una copa? (Do you want a cup?)

No gracias. (No, thank you.)

No Me Digas 

Meaning: Don’t tell me that

Pronunciation: noh meh dee-gahs

In situations when you aren’t interested in what the speaker is saying, you can just say ‘no me digas.’

Example:

No me digas que quieres ser una actriz. ( Don't tell me you want to be an actress.)

Para Nada 

Meaning: No way

Pronunciation: pah-rah nah-dah

Literally, this expression can be translated as ‘for nothing, at all’ and it can be used to emphasize the negation.

Example: 

Tú eres para nada como mi papá te hace parecer. (You are nothing like my dad makes you out to be.)

Qué Va 

Meaning: No way

Pronunciation: keh bah

Literally, this phrase means 'what goes,' but it is used to express that you cannot believe what the other person is saying in a’ no’ context.

Example

Vámonos a alimentar a los caimanes. (Let’s go feed the alligators.)

¡Qué va! (No way!)

Ya Basta

Meaning: Enough already

Pronunciation: yah-bahs-tah

When you really aren't interested in what the speaker is saying and you really had it enough, 'ya basta' is the message that clearly shows him to stop.

Example:

¡Ya basta! ¡Hagan silencio! (That's enough! Be quiet!)

Vete

Meaning: Go away

Pronunciation: beh-teh

Would you say that the verb 'irse' is in the infinitive, let alone that by using it in the second person singular you can actually use it as a 'no.' 

But it is true and moreover, pretty often used when you want to be direct and stop any further conversation.

Example:

Tus bromas son horribles. ¡Vete! (Your jokes are horrible. Go away!)

Final Thoughts

As you may see, you don’t always have to use the word ‘no’ to say ‘no’ in Spanish.

There are many other words and phrases where you don’t even mention the word ‘no’ but you’ve said it between the lines, that is, the point is taken.

If you want to expand your Spanish vocabulary, language learning apps like Babbel are a good place to start. Language learning apps offer a flexible and effective way to dive into a new language, perfectly fitting into even the busiest schedules. They provide immediate access to a wide range of resources, from vocabulary and grammar to pronunciation practice with native speakers.

Among these apps, Babbel stands out for its emphasis on practical conversation skills and its use of real-life scenarios, making it a valuable tool in your language learning arsenal. Explore how Babbel can complement your language learning journey here.

How to say No in Spanish?

The word ‘no’ is so strict and direct that it expresses everything you want to express at that particular moment.

What are some alternative ways to saying No in Spanish?

Nunca - never, Cállate - Be quiet, De Eso Nada - It’s not happening, De Ningura Manera - no way, Jamás! - Never, ¿En Serio? - Are you serious? Lo Suficiente - It’s enough

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