How do you say "no" in Spanish? Today's lesson will teach you a multitude of ways!
If you are wondering how to say "no" in Spanish, like in English, there are many different ways. For starters, we could just say "no" like we do in English (with a slightly different pronunciation, of course)!
Elena, por favor, ¿te sentís bien? No.
Elena, please, do you feel alright? No.
Captions 1-2, Yago 13 La verdad - Part 5Play Caption
For a more polite choice, use the Spanish equivalent of "No, thank you":
¿Quieres? No, gracias. Tengo unas galletas aquí.
Do you want [some]? No, thank you. I have some cookies here.
Captions 12-13, Conversaciones en el parque Cap. 2: Cafe y bocadillosPlay Caption
To answer with a more emphatic "no," try one of the many expressions that mean "No way" in Spanish. The first one can be translated quite literally:
No, de ninguna manera.
No, no way.
Caption 45, Muñeca Brava 18 - La Apuesta - Part 6Play Caption
¿No muerde, no, Suso? -No, qué va.
He doesn't bite, right, Suso? -Right, no way.
Caption 22, Animales en familia Un día en Bioparc: CoatísPlay Caption
Eh... Entonces de hablar, ni hablar.
Um... Then about talking, no way.
Caption 85, Muñeca Brava 47 Esperanzas - Part 10Play Caption
¿Quieres salir conmigo? -¡Ni de broma!
Do you want to go out with me? -No way!
¡No te escapas ni de broma! -¡El arma secreta del grupo! -¡Hombre!
There's no way you'll get out of this! -The secret weapon of the band! -Man!
Caption 56, Orishas Entrevista Canal PlusPlay Caption
To remember how to say "Of course not" in Spanish, let's first recall two ways to say "Of course," claro and por supuesto, then look at their negative versions:
¡Por supuesto que no! ¡No! ¿Mm?
Of course not! No! Hmm?Play Caption
No, no, no, claro que no. Además...
No, no, no, of course not. Besides...
Caption 37, NPS No puede ser 1 - El concurso - Part 11Play Caption
While the first, most literal way to say "Don't even think about it" in Spanish is Ni lo pienses, there are several others, such as Ni se te ocurra, which literally means "Don't even let it occur to you":
Si yo dejé mi departamento... -Ni se te ocurra.
If I left my apartment... -Don't even think about it.
Caption 14, Muñeca Brava 45 El secreto - Part 6Play Caption
Let's see one more:
¡Ni lo sueñes!
Don't even think about it [literally "Don't even dream about it"]!Play Caption
An alternative variation would be: ¡Ni en tus sueños! In English, of course, we would merely say "In your dreams" (as opposed to the literal translation "Not in your dreams").
In Spanish, a common way to say you're just not in the mood (to do something) is no tener ganas de + infinitive, as follows
Dale. -Sí. -Sí. -Te toca. Gracias, Merycita, pero no tengo ganas de jugar.
Go ahead. -Yes. -Yes. -It's your turn. Thank you, Merycita, but I don't feel like playing.
Captions 57-58, Club 10 Capítulo 1 - Part 3Play Caption
To say simply "I don't feel like it," you might choose No tengo ganas or the alternative expression No me da la gana.
Let's look at a few more common Spanish expressions that make abundantly clear that one's answer is negative:
No, no, no, para nada, no, ¿cómo se te ocurre?
No, no, no, not at all, no, how can you think that?Play Caption
De eso nada. ¡Es mía, sólo mía!
None of that. It's mine, just mine!Play Caption
No, en absoluto.
No, absolutely not.
Caption 76, Muñeca Brava 7 El poema - Part 8Play Caption
And, let's conclude with the most dramatic option of all:
¡¿Estás loco o qué?!
Are you crazy or what?!Play Caption
We hope you've enjoyed this lesson on how to say "no" in Spanish. Can you think of any additional Spanish ways to say "no"? Don't forget to let us know!
We have been exploring interesting forms of negation in Spanish. This lesson will be focusing on the use of the expressions en absoluto, de ninguna manera, and del todo.
The Spanish expression en absoluto (not at all) is similar to the English negation "absolutely not" but it's not used the same way. Perhaps the most notable difference is that in Spanish you don't necessarily need the word no (not) for the expression to be considered a negation. Here's an example:
Aldo, ¿a vos te molesta? -En absoluto.
Aldo, does it bother you? -Not at all.
Captions 4-5, Yago - 6 Mentiras - Part 9Play Caption
If you want to add the negative word no (not) you usually include it before the expression en absoluto followed by a comma:
No, en absoluto. ¿Alguna indicación más para el viaje?
No, absolutely not. Any other instruction for the trip?
Captions 76-77, Muñeca Brava - 7 El poemaPlay Caption
Of course, if you don't add the preposition en (in) before it, the word absoluto is just an adjective:
Quiero tener el control absoluto de la empresa.
I want to have absolute control of the company.
Caption 14, Muñeca Brava - 8 TrampasPlay Caption
Spanish also uses the adverb absolutamente (absolutely). You need a negative word such as no (not) or nada (nothing) to use it as part of a negation:
Manillas tampoco, absolutamente nada.
No bracelets either, absolutely nothing.
Caption 59, Misión Chef - 2 - PruebasPlay Caption
If you want to use this word in short negative answers, you just need to add a negative word directly after it, or before it followed by a comma. Here are some examples:
¿Te duele algo? -Nada, absolutamente / Absolutamente nada.
Is anything hurting you? -Nothing, absolutely not / Absolutely nothing.
¿Vino alguien a la fiesta? -Nadie, absolutamente / Absolutamente nadie.
Someone came to the party? -Nobody, absolutely not / Absolutely nobody.
¿Tienes hambre? -No, absolutamente / Absolutamente no.
Are you hungry? -No, absolutely not / Absolutely not.
The expression de ninguna manera means "no way." It can be used as part of long negative statements like de ninguna manera voy a hacer eso (there's no way I will do that). You could also invert the order of the words, but in this case you need to add the negative word no before the verb, for example: no voy a hacer eso de ninguna manera (I won't do that, no way).
You can also use de ninguna manera as a short negative answer, with or without the use of the negative word no:
¿Usted también me va a dar la espalda? -¡De ninguna manera!
You're turning your back on me too? -No way!
Caption 41, Yago - 8 Descubrimiento - Part 7Play Caption
No... no, no. No, de ninguna manera.
No... no, no. No, no way.
Captions 44-45, Muñeca Brava - 18 - La ApuestaPlay Caption
Finally, another Spanish expression that is commonly used in negative phrases is del todo (at all, totally, completely). In fact, to be part of a negation this expression needs to be preceded by a negative word, such as no (not) or nunca (never), and a conjugated verb. Here is an interesting example:
Se titula "Nunca se convence del todo a nadie de nada".
It's entitled "You Never Convince Anyone Completely of Anything."
Caption 8, Bunbury - Entrevista Con Enrique BunburyPlay Caption
You can also use del todo as part of a short negative answer: you have to keep the negative word proceeding it (in this case you should not use a comma) but you can omit the conjugated verb because it's implied in context. For example:
¿Te gustó la película? -No del todo.
Did you like the movie? -Not completely.
¿Fuiste feliz en tu primer matrimonio? -Nunca del todo.
Were you happy in your first marriage? -Never completely.
The Spanish expression cómo no (literally "how not") is similar to the English "why not": It's a rhetorical question used to add emphasis to an affirmation. You can find an excellent example in this episode of our Argentinian telenovela Yago:
¡Sí, cómo no, suban, suban!
Yes, of course, get in, get in!
Caption 49, Yago - 7 EncuentrosPlay Caption
You must remember that, even when the phrase means "yes" or "of course," formally, it's still a question, so it's very important to place the orthographic accent on the word cómo, as you can see in the following examples:
¿Puedo pasar? -Cómo no, adelante.
May I come in? -Of course, go ahead.
¿Me das una mano? -Claro, cómo no.
Can you give me a hand? -Yes, of course.
Yo le dije: Cómo no, esperamos verlo pronto.
I said to him: Of course, we hope to see you soon.
Be careful, though. The actual question cómo no also exists in Spanish. In the following examples the interrogative word cómo (how) appears before the word no (no), not as an affirmation, but as an indirect question with a negation:
Ay, Dios, ¡cómo no voy a estar tenso con el estúpido de Lucio!
Oh, God, how am I not going to be tense with that stupid guy, Lucio!
Captions 31-32, Yago - 2 El pumaPlay Caption
It can also be used in a direct question:
¿Cómo no vas a saber? ¡Yo te avisé!
How come you don't know? I warned you!
Without an orthographical accent, como no can also occur in Spanish, usually as part of a conditional. It translates as "because" or "since":
Pero como no se venden,
But because they aren't selling you,
habéis recurrido al sistema de la permuta.
have resorted to the swap system.
Caption 42, 75 minutos - Gangas para ricosPlay Caption
Pero como no vine a corregirte, sino a avisarte que...
But since I didn't come to correct you, but rather to advise you that...
Captions 15-16, Muñeca Brava - 7 El poemaPlay Caption
Thanks for reading.
We also have a new segment from the Argentine telenovela, Verano Eterno posted for your edification. Amid the rapid banter, we heard:
Yo hoy me voy a dormir a mi casa, tranquilito, pero vos mañana salís conmigo. -Ni loca.
Today I'm going to go home to sleep, laying low, but tomorrow you go out with me. -No way.
Captions 67-69, Verano Eterno - Fiesta Grande - Part 13Play Caption
"Ni loco" or "Ni loca" (for a female speaker) is basically a short-hand way to say "Not even if I were crazy," "No way" or "Not on your life."
Here are a few more short but colorful "ni" expressions that mean essentially the same thing:
Ni en broma diga una cosa así.
Not even jokingly should you say such a thing.
Caption 91, Muñeca Brava - 41 La Fiesta - Part 6Play Caption
Ni en pedo vuelvo a esa casa ¿sabe?
Not even drunk will I go back to that house, you know?
Caption 30, Muñeca Brava - 7 El poema - Part 8Play Caption
Ni en broma
Not even as a joke / No way
Ni en pedo
Not even drunk / No way
Finally, there are some other phrases we thought of where "ni" + "que" means something like "como si" in Spanish. "Ni que" might be translated into English as "it's as if" or (with a negative slant) "it's not like." Here are three examples:
Ni que fuera el diablo en persona.
It's not like he is the devil incarnate.
Caption 35, El Ausente - Acto 3 - Part 3Play Caption
¿Por qué me gritas? ¡Ni que fuera sordo!
Why do you yell at me? It's as if (you think) I'm deaf!
Ni que fuera adivino, para saber lo que piensas.
It's not like I'm a fortune teller who knows what you're thinking about.