14 ways to say no in Spanish: formal & informal phrases + audio

STOP Saying "NO" in Spanish, Say THIS Instead!

One of the first and most important things to learn in any language is how to say “No”. But as you progress, you might want to learn new vocabulary and ways to say it, to sound more like a native instead of always relying on the standard textbook way. 

No in Spanish is the equivalent of “no” in English. It’s used to express a negative response or a disagreement to a question or statement. It is the most commonly used word to express this feeling.

Therefore, today we will talk about other ways to say “No” in Spanish. Here are 14 ways to say no in Spanish:

GermanEnglishUse Case
No, gracias.No, thank you.Used informally to politely decline an offer.
No, ¡qué va!No way!To strongly stress a negative response.
Nunca / JamásNever / EverTo emphasize a strong refusal or denial.
Ni hablar.Don’t even talk about it!A strong way to refuse something that was proposed.
Ni se te ocurra.Don’t even think about it!Used to strongly discourage someone from doing something.
Ni lo sueñes.Don’t even dream about it.To assertively discourage unrealistic or unwanted proposals.
¡Ya para! / ¡Ya detente!Stop it already!To ask someone to stop doing something without directly saying “no”.
¡Vete de aquí!Go away!Used to tell someone to leave without using the word “no”.
¡Déjame en paz!Leave me alone!To ask for peace or to be left alone, indirectly saying “no” to any further interaction.
¡Tomatelá!Screw you!An informal and rather strong way to reject someone or something, used in Argentina.
¡Ya, wey!Stop it, dude!Used in Mexico to tell someone to stop, similar to “enough already”.
No, ¿en serio?No, seriously?When surprised or in disbelief about something that was said or proposed.
¡No puede ser!It can’t be!Expressing disbelief or shock about a fact or situation.
Mentira que _____No way that _____To express disbelief in something someone did or is claimed to have happened. This needs to be combined with the action or claim you’re skeptical of.

I. 3 ways to say no in Spanish formally

Just like English, there are many ways to say no in Spanish and it would be boring to just answer “no” in any context all the time.

Of course the same “no” you use when your boss asks if you can come on a Sunday is not the same “no” you use when your sister is asking to borrow money for the tenth time this month, right?

no in spanish no gracias text with male teacher in background

No, gracias. (No, thank you.)

This works as a usually informal way to say “no” politely and it is normally used when someone offers something and you don’t want it.

For example:

  • ¿Quieres más agua? (Do you want more water?)
  • No, gracias. (No, thank you.)

No, ¡qué va! (No way!)

This is a way to really stress your negative take towards something:

  • ¿Te gusta el hígado encebollado? (Do you like liver with onions?)
  • No, ¡qué va! Prefiero el pollo. (No way! I’d rather have chicken.)

Nunca / Jamás (Never / ever)

If you really want to make your point, this might be the one to use:

  • ¿Quieres ir a lanzarte en bungee? (Do you want to go bungee jumping?)
  • No, ¡nunca! Le tengo miedo a las alturas. (No, never! I’m afraid of heights.)

II. Learn negative words in Spanish

Here are other very strong ways to say no:

  • Oye, Juan, ¿me prestas tu auto? (Hey Juan, can I borrow your car?)
  • Ni hablar. (Literally: don’t even talk about it!) 
no in spanish ni hablar text with male teacher playing on console with dog on left side
  • Hay algo de cambio en la mesa. ¿Puedo tomarlo? (There’s some spare change on the table. Can I take it?)
  • Ni se te ocurra. (Don’t even think about it!)
  • Voy a coquetearle a esa policía (I’m gonna hit on that policewoman)
  • Ni lo sueñes. (Don’t even dream about it)

III. Saying no without actually saying the Spanish word for it

Of course, you can also say “no” without actually stating it, so let’s see some other chunks para decir “no” sin decir “no” (to say “no” without saying “no”).

no in spanish text on left side, male teacher on the right side of the picture
  • ¡Ya para! / ¡Ya detente! (Stop it already!) 
  • ¡Vete de aquí! (Go away!)
  • ¡Déjame en paz! (Leave me alone!)
  • ¡Tomatelá! ―This is an informal expression used in Argentina to say “screw you” 
  • ¡Ya, wey! ―In Mexico they use this to say “stop it, dude!”, or like poor Edgar says: 

IV. Learn other useful phrases in Spanish to say no

As in English, in Spanish we also use negative expressions to convey surprise or incredulity. Let’s see some examples:

No, ¿en serio? (No, seriously?)

Use this one when you are surprised about someone doing or asking something. 

  • ¿Ya te suscribiste a Spring Spanish? No, ¿en serio? (Have you subscribed to Spring Spanish yet? No, seriously?)

¡No puede ser! (It can’t be!)

Use it when you think something is unbelievable.

  • Bruce Willis siempre estuvo muerto. (Bruce Willis was dead all along)
  • ¡No puede ser! (It can’t be!)

Yep, you know what movie I’m talking about.

Mentira que _____ (No way that  _____)

This also expresses not believing something the other person did. This would be a little trickier than the others, since you’d have to combine the chunk with the action that you don’t believe. Let’s see:

no in spanish mentira que text
  • Mentira que le coqueteaste a la policía. (No way you actually hit on that policewoman.)
  • Mentira que te quedaste de nuevo sin plata. (No way you ran out of money again.)
  • Mentira que tomaste mi auto sin mi permiso. (No way you borrowed my car without my permission.)

V. The FREE Spanish training is here to help you learn Spanish

Great! Now stop saying a plain “No” in Spanish y ¡empieza a ser negativo como debe ser en español! (Start being negative in Spanish as it should be!) Wait, that came out wrong… I mean be as negative as possible! I mean use negatives in Spanish correctly!

¿Quieres que siga? (Do you want me to keep going?) Alright, I know how to take “no” for an answer. Before we finish, remember we also have a free Spanish training on our website where you’ll discover the method we use in our Spring Spanish Academy to teach students to speak fluent Spanish. You also get some free sample Spanish lessons there that come straight from our Academy!

✔️ Cheat Sheet with 54 essential Spanish Chunks you’ll hear and use yourself in ANY Spanish conversation (and example sentences). Taken from our YouTube Teacher’s most popular videos!

✔️ 2 Bonus Cheat Sheets with Travel Chunks and Dating/Relationship Chunks

✔️ A Spanish Chunking Tutorial showing you the 1 technique that’ll help you make 100% of the Spanish from our videos roll off the tongue in just 5 minutes a day (you’re probably only using 50% of our lessons’ potential right now…)

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