id-100100024I’m pretty sure all our students know how to say “no” in Spanish: no. It’s quite straight forward. But, what about saying “no” in different ways? “No” is fine, but sometimes is just too plain, so let’s learn another ways to say “no”. If we want to emphasise we can say it several times, “no, no, no…”, as many as we want, or use the expression “¡que no!” (notice that we use it when someone is being very annoying: “¿Seguro que no quieres un poco más de sopa, cariño?” (Fourth time your mom asks this to you) – “¡Que no!“). In Spain is common to deny twice: – ¿Quieres algo de comer, Ana? (Do you want anything to eat, Ana?) – No, no, gracias. Acabo de tomarme un helado y estoy llena (No, no, thanks, I just ate an ice cream and I’m full). Let’s see another 12 ways to say “no” in Spanish.



1. ¡Qué va! ¡Para nada! It’s an informal (and strong) way to say “no”. Let’s read a conversation between two people:

  • ¿Os importa si abro la ventana? Hace bastante calor aquí… (Would you mind if I open the window? It is quite warm in here…).
  • ¡Qué va! Adelante, ábrela (Not at all, go ahead, open it!) / ¡Para nada! Ábrela (Not at all, open it!).

2. ¡No, hombre! ¡No, mujer! It is a friendly negation. For example, if one of your girlfriends says to you that she is not going to your wedding because she has no money you probably say to her:

  • ¡No, mujer! ¡¿Cómo no vas a ir a mi boda?! ¡Yo te invito! (No! How you are not going to my wedding? I treat you!).

3. ¡Qué dices! It is a straight negation and quite abrupt if there is not relationship. Let’s read a conversation between two friends:

  • Este vestido me queda fatal (This dress looks so ugly on me).
  • ¡Qué dices! Te queda genial (What are you talking about? The dress suits you so well).

4. ¡Ni hablar! It is a familiar way of denial and with an authoritarian note. It’s very common to hear it from mums:

  • Mamá, ¿puedo ir a París con Alberto? (Mum, can I go to Paris with Alberto?).
  • ¡Ni hablar! (No way!).

5. ¡Ni se te ocurra! It’s an informal way of denial and a bit authoritarian as well:

  • Papa, estoy pensando en ir a Los Ángeles haciendo autoestop (Dad, I’m thinking about hitchhiking to Los Angeles).
  • ¡Ni se te ocurra! ¿Estás loco? (Don’t even think about it! Are you crazy?).

6. ¡Ni lo sueñes! When there is no way something is going to happen. It’s really informal:

  • Mañana es el cumpleaños de Marta y va a celebrar una fiesta que podría durar varios días… (Tomorrow is Marta’s birthday, so she’s having a party that might go on for days…).
  • ¡Ni lo sueñes! Puedes ir a la fiesta, pero tendrás que volver a casa por la noche (Don’t even think about it! You can go to the party, but you should come back home at night).

7. ¡Ni harto/a vino! ¡Ni borracho/a! Probably the most informal one. It’s used when there is no way something is going to happen:

  • Venga, Carlos, ¡vamos a hacer puenting este sábado! (Come on, Carlos, let’s do bungee jumping next Saturday!).
  • ¡Ni harto vino! (No way!). / ¡Ni borracho! (No way!).

8. ¡Ni en pintura! We normally use it when we don’t want to see someone because we can’t stand them:

  • No quiero ir a la reunión, no soporto a mi nuevo jefe, no lo quiero ver ni en pintura (I don’t want to go to the meeting, I can’t stand my new boos, I don’t want to see him, not even on a picture).

9. ¡Por encima de mi cadaver! / ¡Ni muerto/a! It’s used when the other chance for something to happen is over your dead body:

  • ¡Me encanta esta camiseta, aunque esté un poco rota! La única manera de que las tires es por encima de mi cadaver (I love this T-shirt, although it’s a little bit worn out! The only way you would throw it is over my dead body).

10. ¡De ninguna manera! It is a familiar way of denial:

  • De ninguna manera voy a ir a la fiesta de Carmen, todavía estoy enfadada con ella (No way I am going to Carmen’s party, I am still mad at her).

11. ¡De eso nada! It’s a firm negation and it usually comes from mums:

  • Mamá, ¿puedo quedarme en casa de Patricia este fin de semana? (Mum, can I stay at Patricia’s this weekend?).
  • ¡De eso nada! Sé que sus padres no están en casa este fin de semana (No way! I know her parents are not at home this weekend).

12. ¡Ni de coña! / It’s a slang expression and really common among young people. It’s a strong negation in a friendly way:

  • ¿Por qué no vamos el sábado al cine? (Why don’t we go to the movies on Saturday?).
  • ¡Ni de coña! Odio ir al cine los sábados porque hay demasiada gente (No chance! I don’t like going to the movies on Saturday because it’s too crowed).


If you want to learn these expressions and much more and you want to speak Spanish as a native, start learning Spanish with us now! Ask us for a free trial class!!

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