I’m pretty sure that you've said or heard “No problemo” more than once and well… ¡eso no es correcto! (that's wrong!). In this article, I will not only teach you the correct way to say it, but you will also discover 10 other ways to say “no problem” that’ll make you sound super natural, including some “peculiar” ones from Latin America.
1. No hay problema
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard No problemo, sería rica (I would be rich), but I can understand why it is easier for English speakers to go with “No problemo”: it follows the same rule in English (No problem). But which is actually the correct way of saying it?
No hay problema (no problem) or, literally translated, that would be “there is no problem”. So, this would be the right way of translating “no problem”. But in all honesty, it does get the job done and it makes you sound soooo… boring!
Most natives don’t say this, or at least don’t say it all the time. We like to mix things up. Just like you don’t say “no problem” all the time in English (you also say “no worries” or “all good”), we have many cool alternatives too.
There are several alternatives to No hay problema… and we are going to start with:
2. No pasa nada
Literally, “Nothing happens”… Of course, it depends on the context we are talking about, but normally you would say it si quisieras expresar que estás bien (if you want to express you are fine), and there’s no problem with you or something you are doing:
- ¿Seguro que te da tiempo para pasar por mí? (Are you sure you have time to pick me up?)
- Sí, de verdad, no pasa nada. (Yes, really, there's no problem)
3. No te preocupes
This translates as “Do not worry” and it is probably the expression people in Mexico use the most, as it also means “No hay problema”. So, if you ever come to Mexico o tienes amigos mexicanos (or if you have Mexican friends), you can start telling them ¡No te preocupes!
- Sí, me ha gustado mucho. ¡No te preocupes! (Yes, I liked it a lot. Don’t worry!)
“No te preocupes” is a perfect example of what we call a “chunk”: a fixed word combination that native speakers use, that never changes and that you should just learn by heart so it rolls off your tongue while using it.
“Preocupes” is actually a subjuntivo, but you don’t need to know the rule behind the use of subjuntivo here: I just used it and now you KNOW “no te preocupes” is correct.
The good news: you can learn to speak Spanish up to a really high level just by learning chunks like this! The method to do so is called Conversation Based Chunking, and it’s how we teach students in our Academy. If you’d like to start using it yourself, register for the free Spanish training we have on our website.
Alright, now let’s get back to our “no hay problema” alternatives!
4. No importa
Also a very common phrase here in Mexico, it literally means “it doesn't matter” and la puedes usar (you can use it) when you want to downplay something:
- Sí que duele, pero no importa. (Yes, it hurts, but it doesn't matter.)
5. No te apures
Literally, “Do not hurry”. We use this to indicate that something is not a problem… you don't even need to rush it, tómalo con calma (take it easy).
- Lo siento, se me olvidó llamarte ayer. (I’m sorry, I forgot to call you yesterday.)
- No te apures, me dormí temprano. (No problem, I slept early)
PS: Did you notice? No te apures is another chunk! Again a subjuntivo, but you can just learn the whole thing by heart!
The literal translation for despreocúpate is “don't worry”, but I would think of it more as estar libre de un problema (being free from a problem) or a worry. This is probably the least used way to say no problem, but you might as well know it, as it will make you sound really fancy:
- Mañana lloverá, así que despreocúpate. (Tomorrow will be raining, so there’s no problem.)
Now, let's go over Latin American slang expressions…
7. No hay bronca (Mexico)
Bronca in Mexico means a strong or violent argument between two or more people and it also refers to una reprimenda y desaprobación severa (a severe reprimand and disapproval), that is, “a problem”:
- No hay bronca, yo los ayudo a mudarse el fin de semana. (There’s no problem. I’ll help you move homes this weekend.)
8. Fresco nomás (Ecuador)
Esta expresión ecuatoriana (this Ecuadorian expression) means “only fresh” and it’s used to say that something has no issues or problems:
- ¿Hubo algún problema en el festival? (Was there a problem at the festival?)
- No, ¡todo estuvo fresco nomás! (No, there was no problem!)
9. No hay quilombo (Argentina)
Esta es una de mis expresiones favoritas (This is one of my favorite expressions), and it’s used in Argentina. There’s no way to translate this word, since Argentinians use it to express many different things.
La Real Academia Española (The Royal Spanish Academy) defines it as a mess, hubbub, brawl or disorder, but in reality, it is used to express much more. In this case, “no problem”:
- ¿Puedes ayudarme con esta? (Can you help me with this?)
- Sí, no hay quilombo. (Yes, there’s no problem.)
10. Pura vida (Costa Rica)
Y, por último, pero no menos importante (and last but not least), pura vida means “pure life”, and Costa Ricans know how to enjoy it.
This expression is normally used when saying “all is good” or “Life goes without a problem”:
- ¿Todo bien? (Everything alright?)
- ¡Pura vida! (No problem at all!)
FREE SPANISH TRAINING
¡Muy bien! ¿Cuántas expresiones conocías ya? (How many of these expressions did you know before?) ¿Cuál fue tu favorita? (Which was your favorite?) Let me know in the comments!
As I mentioned before, all the expressions you learned are examples of chunks, that is, fixed Spanish word combinations that never change and that you can learn by heart to have fluent Spanish sentences roll off the tongue.
If you want to discover the method we use in our Spring Spanish Academy to have you speaking Spanish super rápido (super fast), follow this link to sign up! You will also get some free Spanish sample materials.