20+ different ways to say ‘No’ in French

French Language

20+ different ways to say ‘No’ in French

Non is the French word for “no,” but what about “nope,” “not at all,” and “no way”? To participate in both official and casual French discussions, you must be able to speak all of these French words.

One of your first French words was probably “non,” which means “no” in that language. There are other ways to reply negatively in French, though. The ability to say “no” and “yes” politely and easily will benefit you in many conversations.

1. Non: the typical no in French

“Non” is the most common way to say “no” in French. But keep in mind that “no” is a strong word in both French and English. Will you simply say “no” in English if a friend extends an invitation to you? Absolutely not. You will need to expand your answer. It’s also important to do so in French.

For example:

– Tu veux dîner avec moi samedi? (Would you like to have dinner with me on Saturday?)

– Ah, non, désolée, malheureusement je ne peux pas. Tu es libre un autre jour? (Ah, no, I’m sorry, unfortunately I cannot. Are you available another day?)

2. Not At All in French

Saying “not at all” in French is very common. We say “pas du tout“, and use it a lot in French politeness.

For example:

– Tu es sûr, ça ne te dérange pas d’ouvrir la fenêtre ? (Are you sure you don’t mind opening the window?)

– Non, Pas du tout ! (note I pronounced this “non” as “nan”…) (I don’t mind at all!)

3. No way in French

To say “no” categorically in French, we would say “pas question” or “hors de question.” For example:

– Je peux sortir ce soir avec mes amis? (May I go out tonight with my friends?)

– Pas question ! Tu as école demain! (No way! There is school tomorrow)

4. You must be kidding in French

Another modern French expression for “no” is “tu plaisantes!!” which means “are you kidding me?” Let us refer to this as the ironic “no” in French.

For example:

– Tu veux bien me prêter 10 Euros? (Would you mind lending me 10 Euros?)

– Tu plaisantes? (You must be kidding!)

If you want to structure your French sentences without any errors, you need to learn French grammar. Learning grammar will help you write as well as speak French easily and understand what others are saying in French.

5. Nay in French

“Que nenni” is a very old French expression that we sometimes use as a joke, similar to saying ‘nay’ in English.

For example:

– Tu aimes les broccolis? (Do you like broccoli?)

– Que nenni ma tendre amie! (Nay my sweet lady!)

6. French No Gestures

We usually shake our heads side to side when we say “no” in French. To say “no” with our hand, we can also point it or shake it side to side.

Synonyms for no in French

There are many more ways of saying “no” in French. We have compiled a few of them for you to get a good start.

– je crois que non – I don’t think so

– je ne dis pas non – I wouldn’t say no to that

– mais non – of course not

– absolument pas – absolutely not

– au contraire – on the contrary (well, this doesn’t really mean “no” but it can be useful to reinforce the idea)

– moi non – as for me, no… I don’t

– n’est-ce pas? – no? right? isn’t it? (here also, tricky without an example but it can mean no in the right context, to reinforce a negative statement).

– non plus – not (that) either

– pas tout à fait – not exactly, not quite

– pas vraiment – not really

– que non ! – absolutely not!

– pas encore – not yet

– pas maintenant – not now

– plus maintenant – no longer

– jamais – never

– Oh non ! – Oh no!

– Aucun problème – no problem

– Bien sûr que non – of course not

Do get confused with all these different vocabulary words. Remember learning a new language is a gradual process and you need to be consistent until you reach your goal.


In this guide, we have discussed 20+ different ways to say ‘no’ in French. It’s best to learn them in the context of a story so you understand not only the meaning but also the intent.

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