Home French Language “No” in French: 20 Totally different Methods To Decline or Dismiss [With Pronunciation]

“No” in French: 20 Totally different Methods To Decline or Dismiss [With Pronunciation]

“No” in French: 20 Totally different Methods To Decline or Dismiss [With Pronunciation]



Typically it’s important to say no. And that’s okay.

There are as some ways to say no as there are to say sure in French.

From the basic non to ça ne marche pas, right here we’ve got ready an inventory of 20 alternative ways to say no in French, relying on the context and ritual of the scenario you might be in.

Let’s check out them!


1. “No” in French — Non  

Non is essentially the most generally used strategy to say “no” in French and is a superb possibility to make use of because it isn’t formal nor casual, so it may be used within the majority of conditions you’ll discover your self in.

Be aware that whereas it might look much like “no” in English, its pronunciation could be very totally different: 

English: No

French: Non

As with English, altering your tone of voice will have an effect on how sturdy your negation comes throughout.

Non will also be mixed with one other phrase or phrase, as you will note later on this put up. 

2. “Under no circumstances” in French — Pas du tout  

Whereas the tone of voice definitely performs a job, pas du tout typically has a stronger connotation than merely saying non.

Pas du tout typically expresses deep disagreement and, because it means “under no circumstances,” could also be used with an quantity.

For instance:

Vous êtes avocat ? Vous devez gagner beaucoup d’argent ! (You’re a lawyer? It’s essential to make some huge cash!)

Non, pas du tout ! C’est seulement ma première année au cupboard d’avocats et donc je ne gagne pas beaucoup. (No, under no circumstances! It’s only my first 12 months on the regulation agency and subsequently I don’t make loads.)

3. “Unimaginable” in French — Unimaginable  

This one’s straightforward to recollect because it’s spelled the identical method, means the identical factor and is used the identical method in English!

As an example, you may say it in response to a surprising or shocking assertion:

Vingt personnes sont mortes dans une fusillade ! (Twenty folks died in a taking pictures!)

Unimaginable ! Remark cela s’est-il passé ? (Unimaginable! How did that occur?)

It may be utilized in a extra literal sense when responding to an invite.

Should you’re unavailable or unable to do one thing, you may say that it’s unimaginable:

Veux-tu dîner avec moi ce soir ? (Would you prefer to have dinner with me tonight?)

Unimaginable. Je dois travailler. (Unimaginable. I’ve to work.)

4. “No, thanks” in French — Non merci  

Typically, though somebody could have good intentions, it’s important to flip them down by saying “No, thanks.”

Non merci is used to politely decline one thing:

Voudriez-vous un croque-monsieur ? (Would you want a grilled ham and cheese sandwich?)

Non merci. Je ne mange pas de viande. (No, thanks. I don’t eat meat.)

5. “Not but” in French — Pas encore  

Should you haven’t accomplished or skilled one thing, however imagine you’ll, pas encore is the expression to make use of. 

As-tu lu ce livre ? (Did you learn this ebook?)

Pas encore. Je vais le commencer ce week-end. (Not but. I’m going to start out it this weekend.)

6. “Me neither” in French Moi non plus  

Use moi non plus to affirm or join with one other damaging assertion.

In different phrases, if somebody says that they haven’t accomplished one thing or skilled one thing, and neither have you ever, moi non plus is a succinct method to attract that parallel:

Je n’ai jamais mangé ça ! (I’ve by no means eaten this earlier than!)

Moi non plus. (Me neither.)

7. “However no” in French — Mais non  

Simply as mais oui (however sure) could also be employed as a stronger type of oui, mais non can specific a extra intense non.

Mais non can be used to emphatically contradict somebody who’s denigrating themself:

Je suis si grosse ! (I’m so fats!)

Mais non ! Tu sais que ce n’est pas vrai ! (However no! You understand that’s not true!)

8. “Sure” in French — Si  

Si really performs a key position in negating a beforehand acknowledged concept. 

Si is employed in an effort to disagree with a query that seeks a damaging response. 

For instance:

Pierre: Mais vous n’êtes pas française, n’est-ce pas ? (However you’re not French, are you?)

Rachel: Si, je suis française. (Sure, I’m French.)

Pierre requested Rachel if she was French, however he assumed she was not. He opened the query with vous n’êtes pas française (you aren’t French).

Nevertheless, Rachel really is French, and in an effort to make clear that, she employed si.

Thus, whereas si is translated as “sure,” it’s used to negate the unique query.

9. “I don’t know” in French — Je ne sais pas  

This one will most frequently be utilized in response to a query and demonstrates a way of uncertainty. Whereas this will not be a particular no, it’s also not a particular sure.

Be aware that in spoken French the ne is usually skipped—even in formal conversations—so that you’ll normally hear je sais pas.

Le prepare va arriver bientôt ? (Is the prepare going to reach quickly?)

Je sais pas. (I don’t know.)

10. “Not likely” in French — Pas vraiment  

This one means “probably not,” and signifies {that a} assertion isn’t precisely true. 

Es-tu content material de commencer le travail ? (Are you cheerful that you just’re going to start out work?)

Pas vraiment. (Not likely.)

11. “Oh no!” in French — Oh, non !  

This contains non, however actually emphasizes a extra dramatic feeling of shock, anger or misery.

Il est mort dans l’accident de voiture. (He died within the automotive accident.)

Oh non ! (Oh no!)

12. “I don’t assume so” in French — Je ne pense pas  

Very similar to je ne sais pas, this typically denotes a sense of uncertainty.

Nevertheless, there are some circumstances the place it might be mentioned in additional of a sassy method. 

For instance:

Je vais aller au cinéma avec mes amies. (I’m going to go to the flicks with my pals.)

Oh, je ne pense pas ! Tu n’as pas fait tes devoirs ! (Oh, I don’t assume so! You haven’t accomplished your homework!)

13. “By no means” in French — Jamais  

It is a very sturdy strategy to say “no” because it signifies that one thing by no means has or by no means will occur. 

Tu vas m’oublier ? (Will you overlook me?)

Non, jamais ! (No, by no means!)

14. “In fact not” in French — Bien sûr que non  

One more sturdy denial, this one means “in fact not” and must be used once you actually need to emphasize that “no.”

T’as volé mes chaussures ? (Did you steal my sneakers?)

Non, bien sûr que non ! (No, in fact not!)

15. “Positively not!” in French — Oh que non ! 

To disclaim or refuse one thing in French you should use oh que non, which is utilized in an identical strategy to “positively not” in English. 

Alors tu dis que tu iras au bal avec Pierre ? (So that you’re saying you’ll go to the dance with Pierre?)

Oh que non ! (Positively not! )

Pas query is usually utilized in French to emphasise your refusal or rejection of one thing that has been mentioned to you, corresponding to a suggestion, concept or a request.

Peux-tu aller à Monaco et m’acheter une montre ?  (Are you able to go to Monaco and purchase me a watch?)

Pas query ! (No method!)

Pas query is among the hottest methods to precise this in French, nevertheless you may additionally hear native French audio system use different phrases corresponding to absolument pas (completely not) or hors de query (out of query).

17. “Completely not!” in French — Absolument pas ! 

As talked about above, absolument pas is one other method of claiming pas query and is utilized in French to strongly decline or deny one thing that’s being mentioned.

This might be refusal of a request or proposal or one thing you might be strongly in opposition to doing.

For instance, think about that you just dislike the chilly climate, and somebody asks you:

Est-ce que tu aimes skier ? (Do you want snowboarding?)

Absolument pas ! Je déteste le froid !  (Completely not! I hate the chilly!)

18. “Nope” in French — Nan  

Nan is a colloquial time period in French used to say non, related to make use of of the phrases “nope” and “nah” in English.

Allez-vous au Canada cet été ? (Are you going to Canada this summer time?)

Nan. Je vais aller aux États-Unis. (No. I’m going to go to the USA.)

Nan is usually utilized in colloquial speech, nevertheless in additional formal conditions, it will be greatest to keep away from this feature and go for non or another choice on this record relying on the context of the scenario.

19. “You’re kidding!” in French — Tu plaisantes !

Tu plaisantes is usually utilized in French to say “You’re kidding!” highlighting a component of shock or disbelief after one thing has been mentioned.

Cette année j’aurai 60 ans ! (This 12 months I’ll be 60 years outdated!)

Tu plaisantes ! Je ne te crois pas ! (You’re kidding! I don’t imagine you!)

20. “That doesn’t work” in French — Ça ne marche pas  

You normally use ça ne marche pas if somebody’s making an attempt to make some type of plan and you aren’t capable of work it round your schedule. 

Veux-tu qu’on se rencontre à 9 heures demain ? (Do you need to meet at 9 tomorrow?)

Ça ne marche pas, j’ai rendez-vous avec le médecin demain. (That doesn’t work, I’ve an appointment with the physician tomorrow.)

For extra steering on French negation, click on right here to examine the right way to use damaging adverbs, adjectives, pronouns and extra.


As you may see, there are various methods to say “no” in French, relying on the context and the formality of the scenario you might be in.

An effective way to turn out to be aware of these phrases and when to make use of them is by consuming native French media so you may see them utilized in context by native French audio system. You may watch the information, or for extra studying help you might strive a language studying program like FluentU.

FluentU makes use of genuine content material corresponding to film clips and galvanizing talks to immerse you within the language. Every video comes with interactive subtitles which you’ll hover over for extra details about the phrases used. You can too add any “no” phrases or new vocabulary to your personal flashcard deck and follow them.

By consuming native media, you’ll have the ability to see these phrases utilized in context and start to make use of them in your personal spoken and written French.

FluentU is accessible to entry in your browser or by downloading the iOS or Android app.

Gestures to Say “No” in French

Some of the widespread methods chances are you’ll hear somebody say no in French with out utilizing any phrases is by tongue clicking.

Shaking the pinnacle is one other strategy to say no, typically used each internationally and in French tradition.

Pointing and transferring the index finger from left to proper is kind of widespread around the globe too, and whereas typically used between adults, this gesture is especially used to say no to kids.


As you progress deeper and deeper into French, you’ll discover that utilizing these phrases and expressions will mean you can extra absolutely and exactly specific your self in French!