No – non, nan, niet…

Saying no in French
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French Synonyms for Non

No. No way, not me, on the contrary … let’s face it, just because we have to be negative sometimes doesn’t mean we can’t be creative, too. Here are some of the many ways to say "no" in French.

non  =  no

Non is the generic, all-purpose French word for "no":

Par exemple…

Non, je n’aime pas les fraises. No, I don’t like strawberries.
– Veux-tu m’épouser ?
– Non.
– Will you marry me?
– No.

Texting abbreviation: nn

(non) merci  =  no thank you

You probably know that "no thank you" is non merci. But did you know that non is optional? You can just say merci in response to an offer and it will be understood as non merci.

Par exemple…

– Encore du vin ?
– Merci.
 – More wine?
– No thank you.

 To say "yes," say s’il vous plaît. If you say oui merci there’s a very good chance it will nonetheless be understood as non merci. (I speak from experience.)

… ou non ?  =  … or not?

You can ask for confirmation with the tag question ou non ?

Par exemple…

Tu aimes les fraises, ou non ? Do you like strawberries, or not?
Il va t’épouser, ou non ?Is he going to marry you, or not?

nan  =  nope, nah

Nan is an informal equivalent for no, equivalent to “nope” or “nah”:

Par exemple…

Nan, je n’aime pas les fraises. Nope, I don’t like strawberries.
– Tu veux un café ?
– Nan.
– Want a coffee?
– Nah.

 Nan is not used as much in French as nope/nah are in English. Even informally, non is far more common.

non à  =  no to …, down with …

Non à plus a noun is used in strikes and protests to declare one’s opposition to something:

Par exemple…

Non à cette décision !  Say no to this decision!
Non à la guerre ! Down with war!

Ah non ! Oh non !  =  Oh no!

Ah / Oh non indicate disappointment or frustration:

Par exemple…

Oh non ! J’ai perdu ma bague. Oh no! I lost my ring.
Ah non ! On a loupé le train ! Damn, we missed the train!

More synonyms for non

absolument pas absolutely not
au contraire on the contrary
aucun + noun no …
certainement pas certainly not
du tout not at all
pouce en bas,
pouce vers le bas
 thumbs down
n’est-ce pas ? right? isn’t it?
pas de + noun no …
pas du tout not at all
pas tout à fait not exactly, not quite

Familiar synonyms

des clous ! no way!
niet ! no way!(pronounced as in Russian: nyet)
pas question ! no way! not a chance!

Negative prefixes

 Related lessons

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French synonyms for non

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