Saying No in French

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Saying no in French is easy. The only problem is choosing from the many synonyms for no in French. Choose with care, because the differences between expressions are nuanced. Learn how to say the equivalents of "no," "not a chance," "I don't think so," "down with," and more.

The Many Faces of 'Non' in French

non > no
This is the basic, standard French word for "no."

Non, je n'aime pas skier. > No, I don't like to ski.

ah non / oh non > oh no
Ah non and oh non express disappointment, as in "oh no!" or "darn it!"

Ah non ! Ça ne marche pas ! > Oh no! It doesn't work!

non à… > no to...
Non à is followed by a noun to mean "(say) no to" or "down with," especially in protests and demonstrations:

Non au CPE ! > No to the First Job Contract!

Other synonyms for 'non' 

  •   absolument pas > absolutely not
  •    au contraire > on the contrary
  •    aucun (problème, argent, etc.) > no (problem, money, etc)
  •    bien sûr que non > of course not
  •    certainement pas > certainly not
  •    des clous ! (familiar) > no way!
  •    du tout > not at all

Expressions With 'Non'

  •    je crois que non > I don't think so
  •    je ne dis pas non > I wouldn't say no
  •    mais non > of course not
  •    moi non > not me, I don't
  •    n'est-ce pas ? > no? right? isn't it?
  •    niet ! (familiar) > no way!
  •    non merci - no thank you
  •    non et non ! > absolutely not!
  •    non plus > not (that) either
  •    non que + subjunctive > not that …
  •    ... ou non ? > … (are/will/do you + verb) or not?
  •    pas de (problème, temps, pain, etc) > no (problem, time, bread, etc.)
  •    pas du tout > not at all
  •    pas question ! (familiar) > no way! not a chance!
  •    pas tout à fait > not exactly, not quite
  •    que non ! > absolutely not!