There are so many different ways to say No in Spanish, that even Spaniards are unaware of them all.
No is one of those words kids learn to say even before the words mom or dad. Obviously, the Spanish No and English No are written the same way but the pronunciation is different.
The Spanish No is shorter and somewhat sharper, whereas the English No is a long diphthong No (noʊ). This can be challenging for English speakers.
In this blog post, we will tell you all about different ways to say No in Spanish, both polite and (a bit) impolite, casual and not so casual. But hey, it’s all part of the language and culture, so stick around to find out more.
When Do We Say No in Spanish?
Have you ever thought about how many times a day you say No? Probably not but this is something we all do subconsciously. Spaniards often say No at the beginning of the sentence, when they don’t even mean to say No.
For instance, two friends run into each other, and here’s how the conversation goes:
- ¡Hombre, Juan! ¡Cuánto tiempo! ¿Qué pasa? ¿Todo bien en el trabajo?
Juan, man! Long time no see! How’s it going? All good at work?
- No, todo bien. Te comento que ayer me promovieron y ¡flipé con la noticia!
No, everything’s fine. Let me tell you that I got promoted yesterday and I was thrilled with the news!
It’s a Spanish No that we don’t normally say in English. But you get the point.
As you can see, Spanish No doesn’t always mean what it should mean. But this is a whole other subject.
Now, the Spanish word for No is not just one word. Spaniards use many expressions for this. In the next paragraphs, you will learn many different ways to say No in Spanish with not just a single word.
Saying No In Spanish Politely
There are so many polite ways to say No in Spanish. Much less than impolite, though. Spanish for No depends on different factors, such as the person you are talking to, the occasion, etc.
So here are some polite ways for Spanish No.
The most basic Spanish for No is No, gracias, meaning No, thank you.
¿Quieres más pastel?
Do you want more cake?
No, gracias. Ya estoy lleno.
No, thank you. I’m full.
Claro que no
Another polite Spanish No is Claro que no, meaning Of course not.
¿Has sido tú el que dejó el coche así?
Were you the one who left the car like this?
Claro que no. Ni siquiera tengo las llaves.
Of course not. I don’t even have the keys.
Por supuesto que no
This Spanish No is similar to the previous one and the translation is the same (Of course not). The only difference is that this No in Spanish sounds stronger than Claro que no.
¿Vas a ir al médico por fin? Mira cómo estás.
Are you finally going to the doctor? Look at you.
¡Por supuesto que no! Esto se me pasa en un plis plas.
Of course not! This will go away in a second.
De ninguna manera
If you want to know how to say No in Spanish and sound convincing, try using this one. It literally means No way.
¿Mamá, puedo ver la tele un rato?
Mom, can I watch TV for a while?
¡De ninguna manera! Es hora de dormir.
No way! It’s bedtime.
Bajo ningún concepto
Among different ways to say No in Spanish is Bajo ningún concepto, which is stronger than all Spanish No’s we mentioned before. We translate it to English as By no means or Under no circumstances. You can use it to deny something.
Bajo ningún concepto volveremos a discutir lo mismo.
Under no circumstances will we discuss the same thing again.
No, mil disculpas
Now, a more formal way to say No in Spanish is No, mil disculpas. It means No, my apologies. However, the expression literally means No, thousands of apologies.
¿Tiene una habitación más grande?
Do you have a bigger room?
No, mil disculpas. Esta es la única habitación que tenemos disponible en este momento.
No, my apologies. This is the only free room we have at the moment.
Just like some previous examples of Spanish for No, like Bajo ningún concepto o De ninguna manera, Para nada serves to point out the negation of something. It means No way but a literal meaning would be For nothing.
¿Te ha gustado la comida en el restaurante de ayer?
Did you like the food in that restaurant we went to yesterday?
¡Ay no, para nada! Era tan picante que no podía ni tragar.
No way! It was so spicy I couldn’t even swallow it.
Me encantaría, pero no puedo
I would love to but I can’t is the translation of this Spanish No.
¿Te vienes al cine con nosotros?
Are you coming to the movies with us?
Me encantaría, pero no puedo. Tengo mucho trabajo por terminar hoy.
I would love to but I can’t. I have a lot of work to finish today.
Suena bien, pero no
How do you say No in Spanish when you don’t want to offend someone by rejecting them? You say Suena bien, pero no, meaning It sounds good but no. You can add a Thank you afterwards to soften the rejection.
Tu plan suena bien, pero no. Esta vez me quedo en casa para estudiar.
Your plan sounds good but no. This time, I’m staying home to study.
No, lo siento
How to say No in Spanish but still sound courteous? Try saying No, lo siento. It means No, I’m sorry. It’s similar to No, mil disculpas, just a bit softer (without that much apologizing).
Hola, ¿sabe si los bancos abren hoy?
Hi, do you know if banks open today?
No, lo siento. No tengo ni idea.
No, I’m sorry. I have no idea.
Saying No In Spanish In a More Casual Way
There are more casual ways to say No in Spanish than the formal and polite ones. Some of them are colloquial and used as swear words. You will often hear these types of Spanish No’s all over Spain.
Obvio que no
Obviously not or Obvio que no is a casual Spanish for No. Here’s how you can use it:
No queremos perder más clientes. Por favor, pongan atención a esta tarea.
We don’t want to lose any more clients. Please, pay attention to this task.
Obvio que no, nosotros nos encargamos de eso.
Obviously not, we will take care of it.
Va a ser que no
Another Spanish for No you can use is Va a ser que no. We translate it as Probably not. This one has less of an impact if you are trying to reject someone or something.
¡Vamos al concierto el sábado!
Let’s go to the concert on Saturday!
Va a ser que no esta vez. Estaré fuera de la ciudad este fin de semana.
Probably not this time. I’m out of town this weekend.
Nada de esto
Nada de esto is No in Spanish which means No way or Not happening/Not gonna happen. You cannot argue this one with your parents.
¡Quiero ir a la fiesta! Todos mis amigos van.
I want to go to the party! All my friends are going.
Nada de eso, señorita. Que mañana hay colegio.
Not happening, missy. You have school tomorrow.
Ni se te ocurra/Ni lo pienses
We can easily imagine some parents pronouncing these Spanish No’s. It means Don’t you dare or Don’t even think about it.
¡Ni se te ocurra dejar a tu hermano solo!/¡Ni lo pienses, tu hermano no puede quedarse solo, es muy pequeño!
Don’t you dare leave your brother alone! Don’t even think about leaving your brother alone. He’s too small.
Ni en tus sueños/Ni lo sueñes
Not even in your dreams/Don’t even dream about it/No way are some other examples of how to say No in Spanish.
Marta va a salir conmigo hoy, ya lo verás.
Marta is going out with me today, you’ll see.
Ni en tus sueños/Ni lo sueñes, que esa chica no está interesada en ti.
Not even in your dreams/Don’t even dream about it/no way, that girl isn’t interested in you.
No me digas
We use this expression when hearing something that is surprising or incredible, often ironically.
No me digas que te vas a la fiesta de Juan.
Don’t tell me you are going to Juan’s party.
We use this No in Spanish when we want to emphasize we are not doing it, whatever it is.
¿Puedo usar tu tarjeta de crédito para comprar algo por Amazon?
Can I use your credit card to buy something on Amazon?
¡Ni hablar! Luego no me puedes devolver el dinero.
No way! You can’t give me my money back afterwards.
Ni de broma/Ni de coña
The first one is definitely more polite. Both of these Spanish No’s means the same – Not a chance.
Ni de broma/Ni de coña me compro esta chaqueta, ¡mira el precio!
Not a chance I’m buying that jacket. Look at that price!
¿Estás loco o qué?
You will often hear this Spanish for No among friends. The translation would be literally Are you crazy or what? It can also be used in plural – ¿Estamos locos o qué?
¿Puedo prestar tu coche este fin de semana para hacer un viaje corto a Madrid?
Can I borrow your car this weekend for a short trip to Madrid?
¿Estás loco o qué? ¡No se lo presto ni a mi familia!
Are you crazy or what? I don’t even lend it to my family!
Another No in Spanish that means No way.
¡Qué va! Si ella no viene a la reunión.
No way! She’s not coming to the meeting.
Nunca means Never and it is used often in Spanish language. The person who receives this message cannot possibly be confused about what you mean.
¿Por qué no dices la verdad de una vez?
Why don’t you tell the truth once and for all?
¡Nunca! No quiero revelar ese secreto.
Never! I don’t want to reveal that secret.
De eso nada
We use this Spanish No to convey a clear message that something is not going to happen or that we certainly won’t do it. The closest meaning to it is It’s not happening.
Voy a salir con mis amigos.
I’m going out with my friends.
¡De eso nada! Ponte a limpiar tu habitación.
That’s not happening! Start cleaning your room.
En (lo) absoluto
These Spanish words for No point out the disagreement between two people. It means Not at all.
¿Te gustan los gatos?
Do you like cats?
¡En (lo) absoluto! ¡Empiezo a estornudar tan pronto como vea uno!
Not at all! I start sneezing as soon as I see one!
No me da la gana
If you want to avoid a fight, stay out of this Spanish No. We’re joking, of course, but the truth is it’s often used in a quarrel. No me da la gana means I don’t feel like it.
Vamos al supermercado.
Let’s go to the supermarket.
No me da la gana hoy.
I don’t feel like it/I don’t feel like going.
¡Lava los platos te digo!
I’m telling you, wash the dishes!
¡No me da la gana! ¡Tú a mí no me das órdenes!
I do not want to! You don’t give me orders!
No está el horno para bollos
This expression is Spanish No which means that it’s not a good moment for something. The literal meaning would be The oven is not (ready) for buns.
Le voy a pedir dinero a Marcos.
I’m going to ask Marcos for money.
No está el horno para bollos. Le acaban de despedir del trabajo.
It’s not a good moment. He just got fired from your job.
This No in Spanish means I’d rather die…
Antes muerto que prestarle dinero a él.
I’d rather die than borrow him money.
Spanish for No can be expressed with the verb pasar, which literally means to pass. Here, we use it when we want to say we are done with something/someone we no longer care about.
Paso de esta conversación ya.
I’m done with this conversation.
Sobre mi cadáver
Here’s a Spanish No for dramatic soap opera lovers – Over my dead body!
¡Te casarás con él sobre mi cadáver!
You will marry him over my dead body!
As you can see, there are many different ways to say No in Spanish. There are surely many more than the ones we selected.
However, no matter how good your Spanish is, our advice is to choose how to say No in Spanish based on who you are talking to.
You won’t say to your boss ¡Ni se te ocurra darme esa tarea! (Don’t you dare give me that task!), the same way you won’t tell your grandma ¡Ni de coña lo hago! (I’m not f*** doing it!). It’s simply not appropriate. Unless your grandma agrees with it.
That being said, choose wisely, and when in doubt, come back to this article or let us know if you have any questions regarding all these ways to say No in Spanish and we will clarify it for you.
Our goal is to offer free content for people to practice their Spanish. Creating and maintaining the blog takes a lot of our free time however, due to our love of sharing Spanish with you, we will keep adding and updating the content in the blog. If you like the content of this post and believe that it helps you, please consider donating. Any amount is appreciated. Donations will be used to support the free content of this blog.
- 5 Spanish Short Film Worksheets$40.00
- How to Ask and Give Directions Audio & eBook$10.00
- Vale – Spanish Short Film Worksheet$9.00
- Boost Your Everyday Spanish From Spain – Ebook and Audiobook All Packs$40.90
- Boost Your Everyday Spanish from Spain – Ebook and Audiobook Pack 1$24.95
- Clara – Spanish Short Film Worksheet$9.00
- Vecinoo – Spanish Short Film Worksheet$9.00
- 5 Spanish Short Film Worksheets$40.00
- Anónimos – Spanish Short Film Worksheet$9.00