How to Say “No” in Spanish: 13 Easy Phrases to Learn | Langster (2024)

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Learning how to say "no" in a different language can be extremely helpful, especially when traveling or interacting with people from other cultures. Let's learn to say "no" in Spanish!

Beginner

CONTENT
  1. No puedo
  2. No puede ser
  3. No quiero
  4. No estoy seguro
  5. No estoy interesado
  6. No sé
  7. Voy a decir que no
  8. Para nada
  9. No tengo nada que ver
  10. Ni se te ocurra
  11. Ni lo sueñes
  12. De ninguna manera
  13. Ni hablar
  14. Summary
  15. The Bottom Line
How to Say “No” in Spanish: 13 Easy Phrases to Learn | Langster (1)

Learning how to say “No” in a different language can be extremely helpful, especially when traveling or interacting with people from other cultures. Saying “No” in Spanish can be a difficult task, especially if you just started learning Spanish and don't know the right phrases.

Gestures and body language can help you out, but cannot always rely on them. Fortunately, there are many different ways to say “No’ in Spanish that will help you get yourself out of a multitude of life situations.

In this article, we will explore some of the most common ways to say “No” in Spanish, including No puedo and No quiero, and much more. We'll also cover the contexts in which each phrase is most commonly used to boost your Spanish fluency. Check them out!

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No puedo

One of the most common ways to say No in Spanish is No puedo. If you speak English, this phrase translates to "I can’t" and can be used when you're unable to do something.

Spanish

English

No puedo.

I can’t.

You can use this phrase in a variety of contexts, and is generally suitable for all situations. For example, you could use it if you're unable to do something, don't want to do something, or aren't sure if you can do something.

If you can't do something particular, you can use the phrase No puedo hacerlo. This translates to "I can't do it" and is a great way to decline an offer or request in a polite way.

Spanish

English

No puedo hacerlo, lo siento.

I can't do it, I'm sorry.

No puede ser

If you want to sound a bit more sympathetic in your rejection, you can say No puede ser, which literally means “It can’t be.”

This is a way of expressing disbelief or disagreement while still being polite. It’s often used in response to hearing something outrageous or unbelievable.

Spanish

English

No puede ser.

It can’t be.

No quiero

If you don't want to do something, you can use the phrase No quiero. This translates to "I don't want to" and is a polite negative answer you can use to decline an offer or request.

For example, if someone offers you a snack when you’re not hungry, you can say No, gracias, no quiero.

Spanish

English

No, gracias, no quiero.

No, thanks, I don’t want to.

If you don't want anything, you can use the phrase No quiero nada. Nada is one of the most frequently used negative words in Spanish grammar.

This phrase uses a double negative, so we can translate it to English as “I don’t want anything” or “I want nothing,” as we typically use only one negative word in English to avoid confusion.

Spanish

English

No quiero nada.

I don’t want anything.

This is a great way to say “No” if someone offers you something and you're not interested. For example, if someone asks you if you need something from the store, you could say No, gracias, no quiero nada.

How to Say “No” in Spanish: 13 Easy Phrases to Learn | Langster (4)

No estoy seguro

If you're not sure about something, you can use the phrase No estoy seguro. This phrase means "I'm not sure" and is a great way to say “No” without being too forceful. It's also a good way to buy yourself some time to make a decision.

For example, if someone asks you if you want to go to a party and you're not sure, you could just say No estoy seguro, voy a pensarlo.

Spanish

English

No estoy seguro, voy a pensarlo.

I'm not sure, I'll think about it.

No estoy interesado

If you're not interested in something, you can use the phrase No estoy interesado. This translates to "I'm not interested" and is a straightforward way to say “No” in Spanish.

For example, imagine you're travelling and visiting a museum and a tour guide asks if you want to join their group. If you're not interested, you can say use other negative word like Bien, no estoy interesado.

Spanish

English

Bien, no estoy interesado.

Well, I'm not interested.

How to Say “No” in Spanish: 13 Easy Phrases to Learn | Langster (5)

No sé

Alternatively, if you're unsure about something or you don't know how to respond to a question, you can say No sé. This translates to "I don't know" and is a great way to politely decline answering a question.

For example, if someone asks you for directions and you don't know where they're going, you could say Lo siento, no sé.

Spanish

English

Lo siento, no sé.

I’m sorry, I don’t know.

Voy a decir que no

If you're going to say no, you can use the phrase Voy a decir que no. This is a nice way to warn someone that you're about to decline their offer or request.

For example, if someone invites you to join them for something and you don't want to do it, you could say Voy a decir que no, pero gracias por preguntar.

Spanish

English

Voy a decir que no, pero gracias por preguntar.

I'm going to say no, but thank you for asking.

Para nada

When you want to say “No” in Spanish, Para nada is a great expression to use. It basically means "for nothing” or “at all,” and is often used to emphasize a negation.

Spanish

English

Para nada.

Not at all. No way.

When used by itself, its meaning is close to “Not at all” and it is a softer way to say “No” in Spanish. You can use this expression in a variety of contexts. For example, if someone asks if you’re satisfied with the results of your work, you can say Para nada.

Alternatively, you can use a short Spanish expression Qué va, which means “No way” the same way you use Para nada.

No tengo nada que ver

If you want to say that something is not your business or none of your concern, you can use the phrase No tengo nada que ver. This translates to "I have nothing to do with it" and is a great way to politely decline to get involved in something.

For example, if someone asks you for your opinion on a situation and you don't want to share it and get involved, you could say No tengo nada que ver, pero gracias por preguntar.

Spanish

English

No tengo nada que ver, pero gracias por preguntar.

I have nothing to do with it, but thank you for asking.

Ni se te ocurra

If you want to say “No” in a very forceful way, you can use the phrase Ni se te ocurra. This translates to "Don't even think about it" and is a great way to decline an offer or request that you're not interested in.

Spanish

English

Ni se te ocurra.

Don't even think about it.

For example, if someone offers you a drink and you don't want one, you could say Ni se te ocurra, no.

How to Say “No” in Spanish: 13 Easy Phrases to Learn | Langster (6)

Ni lo sueñes

If you want to say “No” in a forceful way, you can use the phrase Ni lo sueñes. This translates to “In your dreams!” which actually means that is never going to happen.

It is a great informal way to shut down an offer or request that you're not interested in or found obnoxious or offensive.

Spanish

English

Ni lo sueñes.

In your dreams!

For example, if someone asks you ¿Quieres salir conmigo? (Do you want to go out with me?), you can answer Gracias, pero ni lo sueñes. This basically means "Thanks, but don't you even dream about it."

De ninguna manera

If you want to be really definitive in your rejection, you can use the phrase De ninguna maneraninguna is another negative word in the Spanish language that means basically “none”.

This expression translates to “No way” or “Absolutely not.” This is a very straightforward way of saying “No” and leaves little to no room for interpretation.

Spanish

English

De ninguna manera.

No way. Absolutely not.

You can use it when someone asks you to do something you really don’t want to do or if you strongly disagree with something. Be careful not to use this phrase too much, however, as it can come across as blunt and rude.

Ni hablar

If you want to resolutely refuse something, you can say Ni hablar which can be translated as “No way,” “Not a chance,” or “Forget it.”

Spanish

English

Ni hablar.

No way. Not a chance. Forget it.

This is a strong way of saying “No” in Spanish and should only be used in situations where you really don’t want to do something or if you strongly disagree with something.

Summary

Let’s summarize all of these useful phrases, so you have them together at hand:

Spanish

English

No puedo.

I can’t.

Spanish

English

No puede ser.

It can’t be.

Spanish

English

No, gracias, no quiero.

No, thanks, I don’t want to.

Spanish

English

No estoy seguro, voy a pensarlo.

I'm not sure, I'll think about it.

Spanish

English

Bien, no estoy interesado.

Well, I'm not interested.

Spanish

English

Lo siento, no sé.

I’m sorry, I don’t know.

Spanish

English

Para nada.

Not at all. No way.

Spanish

English

No tengo nada que ver, pero gracias por preguntar.

I have nothing to do with it, but thank you for asking.

Spanish

English

Ni se te ocurra.

Don't even think about it.

Spanish

English

Ni lo sueñes.

In your dreams!

Spanish

English

De ninguna manera.

No way. Absolutely not.

Spanish

English

Ni hablar.

No way. Not a chance. Forget it.

The Bottom Line

How to Say “No” in Spanish: 13 Easy Phrases to Learn | Langster (7)

As you can see, there are plenty of negative words and phrases Spanish speakers use to express negation. If you’re ever in a situation where you need to say “No” in Spanish, the phrases we’ve listed above will help get your point across.

Each phrase, as it happens with greetings, is suitable for different contexts and can be used to reject anything from something you simply cannot do to an outrageous request. Just make sure not to overuse any of these phrases, as they can come across as rude if used too often.

Also, if you’re looking for extra ways to learn even more phrases in Spanish, why not download our Langster app? In this way, you’ll learn and practice proper Spanish phrasing and expand your Spanish vocabulary in the most engaging way. Good luck!

How to Say “No” in Spanish: 13 Easy Phrases to Learn | Langster (8)

Ellis

Ellis is a seasoned polyglot and one of the creative minds behind Langster Blog, where she shares effective language learning strategies and insights from her own journey mastering the four languages. Ellis strives to empower learners globally to embrace new languages with confidence and curiosity. Off the blog, she immerses herself in exploring diverse cultures through cinema and contemporary fiction, further fueling her passion for language and connection.

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How to Say “No” in Spanish: 13 Easy Phrases to Learn | Langster (2024)

FAQs

How to Say “No” in Spanish: 13 Easy Phrases to Learn | Langster? ›

How do you say "no" in Spanish? - It's the same: "no."¿Cómo se dice "no" en español? - Es lo mismo: "no".

How do you say no in Spanish? ›

How do you say "no" in Spanish? - It's the same: "no."¿Cómo se dice "no" en español? - Es lo mismo: "no".

What are some basic Spanish phrases? ›

Here are some basic Spanish phrases for you to learn:
  • Hello – Hola. (O-la)
  • Good morning – Buenos días. (BWAY-nos DEE-as)
  • Good afternoon/good evening! – Buenas tardes. ...
  • Good night – Buenas noches. ...
  • How are you? (formal – to a stranger) – Cómo está? ...
  • I'm fine, thank you – Bien, gracias. ...
  • What's your name? ...
  • My name is… –

What are the 50 most common words in Spanish? ›

This basic skill is vital for practicing as you continue to learn.
  • Buenos días (Good morning)
  • Buenas tardes (Good afternoon)
  • Buenas noches (Good evening / Good night)
  • ¿Cómo estás? (How are you?)
  • ¿Qué tal? (What's up?)
  • ¿Cómo te va? (How's it going?)
  • ¿Qué haces? (What are you doing?)
  • ¿Qué pasa? (What's happening?)
Aug 25, 2021

What is no Tengo? ›

I don't have.

Is 2000 words enough to speak Spanish? ›

Some linguists believe that 800 words are enough to hold a basic conversation. However, your vocabulary should be over 8,000 words if you want to speak a language as well as a native speaker.

How hard is Spanish to learn? ›

Is Spanish easy to learn? Yes! Spanish is one of the easiest languages for English speakers to learn. While any language requires hard work to master, our language experts sat down and looked at spelling, pronunciation, and grammar and found Spanish to be the easiest option for beginners.

What to teach Spanish beginners? ›

Engaging Spanish Lesson Plans for Beginners
  1. The Alphabet.
  2. Numbers.
  3. Greetings and Farewells.
  4. Days and Months.
  5. Definite and Indefinite Articles. Spanish Lesson Activity Ideas.
  6. Create a “Langspo” Board.
  7. Rearrange Desks for Different Lessons.
  8. Cover a Wall with Real-world Spanish Examples.
Jan 16, 2024

What does no ni nada mean? ›

No ni ná (no ni nada)

The ná at the end is a shortened version of nada. You use this when someone says something that is clearly untrue and you are calling them out on it. Ex. Friend: “I'm not going to drink tonight, in fact, I'm thinking about stopping going out all-together.” You: “¡No ni ná!

What is no te gusta? ›

you don't like.

What language is nada no? ›

Most experts attribute the English use of nada to Ernest Hemingway, who borrowed it from Spanish, in which it means "nothing." The Latin root, nata, means "small, insignificant thing."

Where do they say no pasa nada? ›

In Spain, I've learned a saying that embodies their perspective on time and urgency: No pasa nada. This means, don't worry about it, it's not a big deal, everything is fine.

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