15 Ways to Say “No” in Spanish in Formal and Informal Ways
As children, one of our first words is “no.” At a very young age, we learn to express ourselves, disagree, and correct misconceptions using this tiny word. As we grow up, we learn numerous other ways to express this same idea, like “no way” and “in your dreams.” Just like with English, knowing how to say “no” different ways in Spanish is imperative. Many different sayings from colloquial to formal phrases exist to say no in Spanish. Let’s see what they are!
The Basics of Saying “No” in Spanish
Learning to say “no” in Spanish is one of the first things new students learn. It’s quite simple because it’s the same in English and Spanish. No is no. The pronunciation is almost exactly the same, but in Spanish, the “o” sound is shorter. In English, the “no” has many intonations and fluctuations (nooO, nOo, noOo). However, the “o” in Spanish is always just an “oh.” To learn more about the vowel sounds in Spanish, check out our vowel blog post!
One interesting thing about the saying no in Spanish is that both “no” and “not” in English are translated to just no in Spanish! Because of this, you often hear a double “no” in Spanish.
English: No, I do not want that.
Spanish: No, no lo quiero.
This actually makes saying negative sentences quite easy. Don’t get confused by the double “no,” though; it’s completely normal and extremely common. Speaking of popular phrases, let’s look at the top 15 ways to say no in Spanish.
Polite “No”: No, Thank You in Spanish
Formality is important in Spanish. If you remember from our formal vs. informal blog post, there are many situations that require the formal pronoun usted and therefore a more formal way of saying “no” in Spanish. If you are talking to someone you don’t know very well or if you are in a formal work setting, make sure to use the following phrases:
1. No, gracias
Politeness always helps in formal situations! If someone offers you something that you do not need or want, keep it polite by saying “no, thank you” in Spanish which is no, gracias. You can use this in restaurants, work environments, or even in the street when someone offers you something that you are not interested in.
¿Le puedo ofrecer un postre? No, gracias.
Can I offer you dessert? No, thank you.
¿Necesitas algo, señor? No, gracias.
Do you need anything, sir? No, thank you.
Mire, tengo lindas bufandas a un buen precio para usted. No, gracias.
Look, I have pretty scarves at a good price for you. No, thank you.
These next two forms of saying “no, thank you” in Spanish are for particular situations.
2. No, gracias. Estoy bien.
When you are asked if you need something, like a blanket, time, or more coffee, use this phrase! Translated, it means “No, thank you. I’m fine.” This is specifically for when someone asks if you personally want or need something.
¿Tienes frío? ¿Quieres una cobija? No, gracias. Estoy bien.
Are you cold? Do you want a blanket? No, thank you. I’m fine.
¿Necesitas más tiempo? No, gracias. Estoy bien.
Do you need more time? No, thank you. I’m fine.
¿Quieres más café? No, gracias. Estoy bien.
Do you want more coffee? No, thank you. I’m fine.
3. No, gracias. Está bien así.
Now, if you are asked if you would like something changed (like a door closed or the air conditioning lowered), use this form of saying “no, thank you” in Spanish, which means “No, thank you. It’s fine like that.”
¿Quieres que te cierre la puerta? No, gracias. Está bien así.
Do you want me to close the door for you? No, thank you. It’s fine like that.
¿Tienes mucho calor? ¿Te pongo el aire acondicionado? No, gracias. Está bien así.
Are you hot? Do you want me to turn on the air conditioning? No, thank you. It’s fine like that.
¿Tienes suficiente espacio? ¿Te quito esto? No, gracias. Está bien así.
Do you have enough room? Do you want me to move this for you? No, thank you. It’s fine like that.
Of course, not every situation is formal. When talking with your friends, you will hear several, if not all, of these following colloquial ways of saying “no” in Spanish.
Nel literally translates to “nope,” but it is better understood as a way to say “nah.” It is a great way to say “no” in a dismissive way.
¿Te gustó la película? Nel.
Did you like the movie? Nah.
¿Ya terminaste la tarea? Nel.
Did you finish the homework yet? Nah.
¿Quieres ir al gimnasio conmigo? Nel.
Do you want to go to the gym with me? Nah.
What do you think nop translates to in English? If you said “nope,” you’re right! There is just a slight spelling difference between these two words, and they are used in the same way in both languages.
¿Entendiste la clase? Nop.
Did you understand the class? Nope.
¿Vas a ir a la fiesta? Nop.
Are you going to go to the party? Nope.
¿Tienes dinero? Nop.
Do you have any money? Nope.
Nones may look a little strange, but it means “nope” or “no way.”
¡Tienes que ayudarme! ¡Nones!
You have to help me! No way!
¿Vas a tomar 10 clases el siguiente semestre? ¡Nones!
Are you going to take 10 classes next semester? No way!
¿Quieres tener una mascota? ¡Nones!
Do you want to have a pet? No way!
7. No hombre
This is a fun way to say no in Spanish and literally translates to “no, man.” Similar English phrases would be “no, dude” or “no, bro.” The pronunciation no hombre can be quite confusing if you’re not familiar with the phrase. Because the “h” is silent, when you say these two words together, it comes out sounding like nombre, or “name.” However, the correct pronunciation is a double “o” sound: no’ombre (noh-ohm-bray). In fast-paced speech, though, there is almost no difference.
No hombre is not only for saying “no, man” but also to express incredulity.
¿Ya escuchaste que Héctor ganó? No hombre, ¿en serio?
Did you hear that Hector won? No, man, really?
¿Así está bien? No hombre. Hazlo así.
Is it okay like this? No, dude. Do it like this.
¿Sabes que el coronavirus ya llegó a esta ciudad? No hombre. No te creo.
Did you know that coronavirus is here in this city now? No, man. I don’t believe you.
More Ways to Say “No” in Spanish for Any Situation
We’ve covered both formal and informal ways of saying “no” in Spanish, but there are still many phrases that you can use in either situation.
8. Espero que no / creo que no
These are pretty straightforward; respectively, they mean “I hope not” and “I don’t think so.” You can use these phrases when someone asks you for information that you don’t have a definitive answer to.
¿Vamos a tener una reunión hoy? Espero que no.
Are we going to have a meeting today? I hope not.
¿Ya nos van a entregar las notas? Creo que no.
Are they going to give us our grades yet? I don’t think so.
9. De ninguna manera / de ningún modo
These two phrases are both more formal ways of saying “no way.” They can also be translated as “certainly not” and “by no means.”
¿Podemos ver una película en lugar de tener clase? De ninguna manera.
Can we watch a movie instead of having class? Certainly not.
¿Podemos entregar tarde este proyecto? De ningún modo.
Can we turn this project in late? By no means.
¿Puedo comer helado para la cena? De ninguna manera.
Can I eat ice cream for dinner? No way.
10. Todo lo contrario.
Todo lo contrario means “quite the contrary” or “quite the opposite.” This way of saying “no” in Spanish can be a bit formal, and it is used when your opinions or tastes are the exact opposite of what the other person is saying.
Te gustan películas de horror, ¿verdad? Todo lo contrario. Me gustan películas de comedia.
You like horror movies, right? Quite the contrary. I like comedy movies.
¿Crees que el café es dañino? Todo lo contrario. Hace mucho bien.
Do you think coffee is harmful? Quite the opposite. It does a lot of good.
A mí me gustan los gatos. Y ¿a ti? Todo lo contrario. A mí me encantan los perros.
I like cats. What about you? Quite the contrary. I love dogs.
11. Todavía no.
Todavía no, or “not yet” in English, is to express that something we have been waiting for hasn’t happened yet. It is often preceded by the word ya in the question (learn more about ya in our blog post!).
¿Ya escuchaste las noticias? Todavía no.
Did you hear the news? Not yet.
¿Ya llamaste al banco? Todavía no.
Did you call the bank? Not yet.
¿Ya llegó el paquete? Todavía no.
Did the package arrive? Not yet.
If you want a stronger way to say no in Spanish, use jamás, which means “never” (yes, jamás and nunca mean the same thing!). You can use it to talk about something you have never done or something you would never want to do in the future.
¿Vas a mudarte a otra ciudad? ¡Jamás!
Are you going to move to another city? Never!
¿Has probado la comida picante? ¡Jamás!
Have you tried spicy food? Never!
¿Te gustaría hacer paracaidismo deportivo? ¡Jamás!
Would you like to go skydiving? Never!
13. Yo no / a mí no
These two phrases have very similar meanings but are used in distinct situations. Both can mean “No, I don’t” or “No, not me” depending on the situation. However, a mí no is always used for actions that happened (or didn’t happen) to you—in other words, when a reflexive verb or reflexive pronouns are used. Yo no is used to say that you did not do the action.
¿Alguien sabe dónde está mi mochila? Yo no.
Does anyone know where my backpack is? No, I don’t.
¿José ya les llamó? A mí no.
Did José already call you all? No, not me.
¿Te gusta el chocolate? A mí no.
Do you like chocolate? No, I don’t.
14. No mucho.
No mucho means just what it looks like: “not much.” It can be used as “not really.”
¿Cuánto te falta? No mucho.
How much more do you have left? Not much.
¿Te gustó la comida? No mucho.
Did you like the food? Not really.
¿Cuánto dinero tienes? No mucho.
How much money do you have? Not much.
15. Ni pensarlo / Ni se te ocurra.
These phrases to say no in Spanish are a bit more powerful and mean “don’t even think about it.” They can be used interchangeably to refer to something so ridiculous it shouldn’t be mentioned.
¿Podemos comer el pastel de cumpleaños? Ni se te ocurra. Es para mañana.
Can we eat the birthday cake? Don’t even think about it. It’s for tomorrow.
¿Quieres que le diga la verdad? Ni pensarlo.
Do you want me to tell him the truth? Don’t even think about it.
¿Debo hacer dieta? Ni se te ocurra. Te ves bien.
Should I go on a diet? Don’t even think about it. You look good.
A Bonus Word
You now know how to say no in Spanish, but what if someone says a negative sentence to you and you want to correct them. For example:
No te gusta el chocolate, ¿verdad?
You don’t like chocolate, right?
This sentence is in the negative form and you want to correct them because you DO like chocolate. Instead of saying sí, which may be confused to mean you agree with their negative sentence, you can say bien.
No te gusta el chocolate, ¿verdad? ¡Bien!
You don’t like chocolate, right? Yes, I do!
Now that you have an extensive list of ways to say no in Spanish, it’s time to practice with your Spanish teacher. If you do not have one, try a free class with one of our native Spanish-speaking teachers online. The live classes will allow you to ask questions and have fun, interactive conversations in Spanish. ¡No esperes más!
Would you like more amazing Spanish resources? Check out our recent posts!
- An Exclusive Beginner’s Guide to Spanish Conjugation
- Clothes in Spanish: A Guide to Spanish Fashion
- Spanish Classroom Survival Phrases for Beginners
- Indirect Object Pronouns in Spanish: 10 Great Online Exercises
- Spanish Preterite vs Imperfect: 25 Online Exercises to Practice Your Skills
- ‘Ser’ Adjectives and How to Use Them in Spanish Sentences
- How to Become Conversational in Spanish: Tips and Tricks
- The Most Amazing Advanced Spanish Books for Adults (C1-C2)
- Indirect Object Pronouns in Spanish: 10 Great Online Exercises - June 30, 2020
- Is Mexico Part of North America or Central America? - June 24, 2020
- 15 Ways to Say “No” in Spanish in Formal and Informal Ways - June 21, 2020