How to Say No in Russian: Usage and Expressions

No Parking sign in russian language
No Parking sign written in Russian language with a pen on a cardboard box part as seen in central neighborhood of Kiev, Ukraine.

 AdrianHancu / Getty Images

Нет is the word used to say no in Russian. However, there are many other expressions that mean "no," depending on the situation and context. Use this list to learn all the different ways to disagree or decline something in Russian.

01
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Нет

Pronunciation: nyet

Translation: no, none, absent

Meaning: no

Example:

- Ты звонил? Нет. (ty zvaNEEL? NYET.)
- Did you ring? No.

02
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Не / не-а

Pronunciation: nye / NYE-uh

Translation: nah; nope

Meaning: nah; nope

This is an informal way to say no, similar to "nope" but used even more widely.

Examples:

- Пойдешь в кино? Не, не хочу. (PayDYOSH v keeNOH? NYE, nye haCHOO.)
- Are you coming to the movies? Nah, I can't be bothered.

- Ты видела Машу? Не-а, я не ходила. (ty VEEdyla MAshu? NYE-ah, ya ny haDEEluh.)
- Did you see Masha? Nah, I didn't go.

03
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Да нет

Pronunciation: da NYET

Translation: yes no; but no; not really

Meaning: No no (emphatic); no, I don't think so (unsure); not at all (emphatic); not really (conversational).

The "no" that has always confused Russian learners, this is a very versatile way to disagree and can be used in various situations, including formal and informal settings.

Examples:

- Ты не возражаешь, если я..? Да нет конечно! (Ty ny vazraZHAyesh? Da NYET, kaNYEshnuh!)
- Do you mind if I...? Of course not!

- Вы не заметили ничего подозрительного в тот день? Да нет, по-моему нет. (Vy ny zaMYEtyly nychyVOH padazREEtyl'nava fTOT DYEN'? Da NYET, pa-MOyemoo nyet.)
- Did you notice anything suspicious about that day? No, not really, I don't think so.

- То есть вы сами ничего не видели? Да нет же, говорю же вам! (To yest vy SAmee nychyVOH ny VEEdyly? Da NYET zheh, gavaRYUH zhe vam!)
- So you didn't see anything yourself? No, no, I've already told you.

04
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Ни в коем случае

Pronunciation: ni v KOyem SLUchaye

Translation: not in any case ever

Meaning: in no possible way; not in a million years.

Example:

- Ни в коем случае не пить ледяную воду. (Nee FKOyem SLUchaye ny PEET' lydyaNOOyu VOdoo.)
- Avoid ice-cold water at all costs.

05
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Ни за что

Pronunciation: ni za SHTOH

Translation: not for anything

Meaning: never in a million years

Example:

- Ни за что на это не пойду! (Nee za CHTOH na EHtuh ny payDOO!)
- I will never in a million years agree to that.

06
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Ну нет

Pronunciation: noo NYET

Translation: well no

Meaning: definitely no

This way of saying no is used with an emphatic inflection.

Example:

- Ну нет, это вам даром не пройдет! (noo NYET, EHtuh vam DAram ny prayDYOT!)
- No, you won't get away with that!

07
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Ни при каких условиях

Pronunciation: ni pri kaKIKH usLOviyakh

Translation: not under any conditions

Meaning: under no circumstances, never ever

Example:

- Ни при каких условиях не соглашайся на встречу. (Nee pry kaKIKH usLOviyakh ny saglaSHAYsya na VSTREchoo.)
- Under no circumstances should you agree to meet up.

08
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Отрицательно

Pronunciation: atriTSAtylnuh

Translation: negatively

Meaning: negative

Example:

- Как ты к этому относишься? Отрицательно. (Kak ty k EHtamoo atNOsyshsya? AtreeTSAtyl'nuh.)
- How do you feel about that? Negatively.

09
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Ни при каких обстоятельствах

Pronunciation: ni pri kaKIKH abstaYAtylstvakh

Translation: under no circumstances

Meaning: never in a million years, under no circumstances.

Example:

- Этого нельзя допустить ни при каких обстоятельствах (EHtagva nyl'ZYA dapusTEET' ny pry kaKIKH abstaYAtelstvah.)
- This cannot be allowed under any circumstances.

10
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Никогда

Pronunciation: nikagDAH

Translation: never

Meaning: never

Example:

- Ты согласен? Никогда! (ty sagLAsyn? neekagDAH!)
- Do you agree? Never!

11
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Нет, спасибо

Pronunciation: nyet, spaSEEbuh

Translation: no, thank you

Meaning: no, thank you

This is a polite way to decline something and should be used in most situations. Using only "Нет" would be considered rude.

Example:

- Будешь чай? Нет, спасибо. (BOOdysh CHAY? Nyet, spaSEEbuh.)
- Would you like some tea? No, thank you.

12
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Нет, не надо

Pronunciation: Nyet, ny NAduh

Translation: No, no need

Meaning: Stop it; yeah, right; oooooh kay; no need for that; there is no need.

This expression can be used in several ways, with the meaning ranging from a sarcastic "yeah, right" or "ooooh kay" to an emphatic "stop it."

Examples:

- Нет, не надо, перестань! (Nyet, ny NAduh, pyerysTAN'!)
- No, stop it right now!

- Ой, не надо тут. (Oy, ny NAduh toot.)
- Oh, please! (sarcastic)