No in German

When you don’t want to do something, you say nein – the classic way to say no to someone. You may already know what nein means. The one word you know is helpful in answering many questions, but it won’t convey everything you want to say. How would you express your polite decline of an invitation?

No in German: Nein

Would you be firm or polite? The answer will vary depending on the situation. There are several types of no you might encounter when learning German, including the standard German no, polite ways to say no, hesitant no sayings, emphatic no sayings, and many more.


A common way to convey the message “no” in German is to use the word “nein”. The module can be used to establish a negative sentence (which we will cover later), but it can also stand alone or answer a simple yes or no question on its own.


Among younger demographics in Germany and the North, Ne is common. Germans use it to say “no” in an informal way.


Before knowing how to say no in different languages, among the various ways in which Germans use to say “no”, “no” is the most informal. German speakers tend to use this form of expression most commonly among young people, and it is a carefree way of saying “no”.

Nein danke

The answer is actually not difficult to figure out on your own: nein danke means “no thanks” in German. Hence, this phrase is more often used by people to express their displeasure with being offered something.


You can use as a way to decline plans and offers politely or to express regret over a particular action. “Leider” is a German word that means regret.


Do you know what ” jein ” means? This is an amusing combination of “ja” and “nein” which has the effect of saying both “yes” and “no”. The phrase is usually use as a joke, and an explanation follows soon after.

Emphatic No in German

Have you ever felt strongly about something and wanted to convey that feeling to someone? It is possible to quantify your “nicht” by adding an adverb such as gar, überhaupt, or absolut before it.

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