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How to say no in Spanish: 15 different ways

Learn 15 different ways to say “no” in Spanish and understand their appropriate usage. Improve your communication skills and broaden your vocabulary.

ways to say no in spanish

As we go through our daily lives, it’s inevitable that we’ll need to say “no” to certain requests or offers. Being able to say “no” politely and effectively is an important skill to have in any language. If you’re learning Spanish or planning to visit a Spanish-speaking country, here are 15 different ways to say “no” in Spanish.

Saying “No” politely

No, gracias

This is the most common way to say “no” in Spanish. It’s polite and straightforward, and it translates to “no, thank you” in English. You can use this phrase to decline offers, invitations, or anything else politely.

Lo siento, pero no puedo

This phrase means “I’m sorry, but I can’t.” It’s a polite way to decline an invitation or request, and it’s useful when you have a prior commitment or can’t fulfill someone’s request for some other reason.

Me encantaría, pero no puedo

This phrase means “I would love to, but I can’t.” It’s a polite way to decline an invitation or request while still expressing your interest in the offer. You can use this phrase when you want to show appreciation for the invitation or request, but you can’t accept it.

Gracias por pensar en mí, pero no puedo

This phrase means “Thank you for thinking of me, but I can’t.” It’s a polite way to decline an invitation or request while expressing gratitude for the offer.

Saying “No” Firmly

No, gracias. No me interesa

This phrase means “No, thank you. I’m not interested.” It’s a straightforward way to decline an offer or invitation when you have no interest in it.

No tengo tiempo

This phrase means “I don’t have time.” It’s a simple way to decline an invitation or request when you’re too busy to accept it. You can use this phrase to decline invitations, requests for help, or anything else that requires your time.

No es posible

This phrase means “It’s not possible.” It’s a firm way to decline an invitation or request when you can’t fulfill it for any reason. You can use this phrase to decline requests for money, time, or anything else that you can’t provide.

Lo siento, pero no voy a poder hacerlo

This phrase means “I’m sorry, but I’m not going to be able to do it.” It’s a firm way to decline a request when you know you won’t be able to fulfill it. You can use this phrase to decline requests for help or anything else that you can’t do.

Saying “No” with an Explanation

No puedo, tengo otro compromiso

This phrase means “I can’t, I have another commitment.” It’s a way to decline an invitation or request while providing an explanation for your inability to accept it. You can use this phrase when you have a prior commitment that prevents you from accepting the offer.

No me siento bien

This phrase means “I don’t feel well.” It’s a way to decline an invitation or request when you’re not feeling well enough to participate. You can use this phrase when you’re sick or not feeling well enough to do something.

Lo siento, pero tengo que estudiar

This phrase means “I’m sorry, but I have to study.” It’s a way to decline an invitation or request when you need to prioritize your studies. You can use this phrase when you have exams or need to focus on your studies.

Saying “No” Casually

Nah, gracias

This phrase means “Nah, thanks” and is a casual way of saying “no, thanks.” It’s a more laid-back and informal way to decline an offer or invitation. You can use this phrase with friends or in casual situations.

Ni loco

This humorous and informal manner of saying “no” to an invitation or request signifies “not even if I’m crazy”. When you wish to convey to acquaintances or in casual settings that you are not interested in the offer, use this statement.

Paso

This phrase means “I’ll pass.” It’s a casual and informal way to decline an offer or invitation. You can use this phrase with friends or in informal situations when you want to decline an offer without being too formal.

No me va

This phrase means “it’s not my thing.” It’s a casual and informal way to decline an offer or invitation when you’re not interested in it. You can use this phrase with friends or in informal situations when you want to express that you have no interest in the offer.

How to say no in Spanish: formal expressions

It’s vital to speak in a more formal and polite manner when you need to say “no” in a formal context, such as a business meeting or other professional circumstance. In a formal setting, you can use the following phrases to communicate “no” in Spanish:

  • Le agradezco la oferta, pero no puedo aceptarla en este momento. – “I appreciate the offer, but I cannot accept it at this time.”
  • Lamento no poder aceptar su invitación en esta ocasión. – “I regret that I cannot accept your invitation on this occasion.”
  • Gracias por considerarme, pero no estoy interesado/a en esta propuesta. – “Thank you for considering me, but I am not interested in this proposal.”
  • Lo siento, pero en este momento no es posible para mí. – “I’m sorry, but it’s not possible for me at this time.”
  • No es viable para nosotros en este momento. – “It’s not feasible for us at this time.”
  • Por el momento, no podemos aceptar su propuesta. – “At this time, we cannot accept your proposal.”

How to say no in Spanish: informal expressions

When speaking with friends, family, or in casual settings, it’s common to use more informal language. Here are some expressions you can use to say “no” in Spanish in an informal context:

  • No, gracias – “No, thanks.”
  • Ni loco – “Not even if I’m crazy.”
  • Ni hablar – “No way.”
  • Ni de broma – “Not even as a joke.”
  • No me interesa – “I’m not interested.”
  • Estoy bien – “I’m good.”
  • No tengo ganas – “I don’t feel like it.”
  • No me apetece – “I don’t feel like it.”
  • No me da la gana – “I don’t feel like it.”

Final thoughts

final thoughts on how to say no in spanish in formal and informal

Knowing how to say “no” in Spanish is an important part of language learning, as it helps you communicate your boundaries, preferences, and decisions effectively. Whether you’re in a formal or informal context, there are various ways to express “no” in Spanish, depending on the situation and the person you’re speaking with. When it comes to formal expressions of “no” in Spanish, it’s important to use polite and professional language to convey your message respectfully.

On the other hand, informal expressions of “no” can be used in casual settings with friends and family, but it’s important to consider the context and the relationship you have with the person you’re speaking with. Lastly, it’s important to be aware of regional nuances where “no” can actually mean “yes” or convey agreement or confirmation, so it’s best to clarify the intended meaning to avoid confusion.

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