Almost anybody acquainted with pop culture depictions of Germany kind of has actually checked out somebody angry shouting “Nein!” in a movie, TV present or even commercial.

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So you can think you recognize sufficient about exactly how to say “no” in German.

Just imagine, though, what it would certainly be prefer if somebody literally only supplied the word “no” without any other softeners or explanations.

It’d be exceptionally rude! “Can I aid you?” “No.” “Would you like something to eat?” “No.”

Different societies have actually various uncreated rules about saying “no” to things. As an outcome, someone from the United States, for circumstances, could think that Germans are a small bit rude once they say “no.”

They’re not being rude, though. It’s just a small little bit of cultural difference!

Read on to learn all around just how to say “no” in German like a native speaker would.

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How to Say “No” in Germale, from “Nah” to “Absolutely Not!”

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Saying “No” in Germale Politely

In Germale, the method to say “no” politely entails an explacountry of the negation, instead of ssuggest saying the word “no” alone. This is true in English as well, which is why it might sound choose widespread sense.

For example, imagine that somebody goes into a hotel and also asks to use the restroom, however they’re not a guest and so they’re refsupplied.

That refusal is likely to take the develop of somepoint like this: a polite, formal statement via an explacountry of why.

Leider sind die Toiletten nur für Gäste dieses Hotels. (Unfortunately, the toiallows are only for guests of this hotel.)

They’re likewise incredibly most likely to include among these phrases: Entschuldigung (excuse me) or Tut mir Leid (I’m sorry).

Es tut mir wirklich Leid, aber wir können mit dir nicht komguys. (I’m truly sorry, yet we can’t come via you.)

One of the more subtle things that the majority of world simply end up picking up naturally is a type of repetition of the verb in most negative answers. It’s simpler to present than explain:

“Spielt ihr Gitarre?” (“Do you play guitar?”)“Nein, Gitarre spielen wir nicht.” (“No, we don’t play guitar.”)

“Haben Sie einen Pepsi?” (“Do you have actually Pepsi?”)“Nein, Pepsi nicht. Vielleicht wollen Sie einen Coca-Cola?” (“No, no Pepsi. Perhaps you’d favor a Coca-Cola?”)

This definitely isn’t a prescribed means to offer a “no” answer in German. Instead, it’s sort of a typical negative response to a question.

The word lieber is a good alternate to a direct no, as it implies “fairly.” It can come after nicht or stand by itself.

Ich gehe lieber nicht in die Kneipe. (I’d quite not go to the bar.)

“Möchtest du ‘Moana’ sehen?” (“Would you like to view ‘Moana’?”)“Ich würde lieber ‘Frozen’ sehen.” (“I’d like to see ‘Frozen."”)

This happens to be a perfect example of somepoint that can come across as a little also straight and also rude in English, however is completely acceptable in German.

Whether or not you’re from a culture wbelow the politeness range is calibrated choose it is in Gerguy, picking up on the ways that language affects politeness can be an overwhelming job.

The single finest way to perform this is to watch Germans and learn from them. After all, the even more authentic German media you consume, the much better handle you’ll get on the social facet of saying “no” in German.


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Watch authentic media to at the same time immerse yourself in the German language and also build an expertise of the Germale culture.

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Sign up for the cost-free trial this particular day, and start watching and also knowledge exactly how many type of different methods Gerguy speakers almost everywhere the civilization say “no”—and also the many kind of various other words and also expressions they usage in daily life.

The Simple and also Straightforward Way to Say “No” in German

As we’ve stated, the method to say “no” in Gerguy is ssuggest to say nein.

It’s a basic little bit Gerguy word but if you say it with no other conmessage, it’s a small rude.

That’s why tbelow are three extremely commonly-supplied choices, slight twists on the actual word nein to soften the blow.

The initially is nee, which need to rhyme via Schnee (snow). You’ll hear this one quite frequently—in truth, it appears at all levels of Germale society. It’s considered dialectal, and also in some locations such as Bavaria, it’s the default instead of nein.

“Hast du den Spiel gesehen?” (“Did you see the game?”)“Nee.” (“Nah.”)

The second is nö, which is used a little less typically in simple speech. Interestingly sufficient, you’ll often check out it in comics and also books, probably as a means to break up the dialogue rather of constantly having actually whatever be nein. Some world have actually the feeling that is a little bit harsher than nee, supplying maybe an extra disparaging feel:

“Willst du mit mir Kaffee trinken?” (“Do you desire to have actually coffee through me?”)“Nö.” (“No <…and why would certainly you think otherwise?>”).

The last is nich, a contraction of nicht (not), This is strongly associated via Berlin, wright here the typical accent shifts the ich right into even more of an isch sound.

“Hast du Hunger?” (“Are you hungry?”)“Nich.” (“Naw.”)

We have actually one more little bit word you can usage to say “no” in German: jein, a cute combicountry of ja (yes) and nein. It’s only “cute” until someone uses it to deny you some information you actually desire.

“Warst du gestern Abfinish wieder bei Heather?” (“Were you at Heather’s area aobtain last night?”)“Jein…” (“Maaaybe…”)

Strong Words for Strong Situations

We’ve viewed straightforward and conventional means to say “no” yet occasionally, there’s a time and area for saying somepoint via a tiny even more pressure behind it. First, a couple of phrases that are pretty much interchangeable:

Auf gar keinen Fall. (Under no circumstance.)

Here, the word gar is an optional intensifying pwrite-up. You’re literally saying “In absolutely no situation.”

Überhaupt nicht. (Definitely not.)

Absolut nicht. (Absolutely not.)

Just as polite Gerguy sof10s the blow by saying why somepoint gets a negatory answer, you deserve to take amethod that level of politeness by either not giving an explacountry or by providing a bad one.

Das ist hier nicht erlaubt. (That’s not allowed right here.)

Nein. Ich will nicht. (No. I don’t want to.)

Auf keinen Fall. Ich werde beschäftigt sein. (Absolutely not. I’ll be busy.)

You might likewise be familiar via the word verboten, interpretation “forbidden.” It definitely has actually a feeling of strictness!

Im Park ist Rauchen verboten. (Smoking is forbidden in the park.)

This particular word regularly shows up on indications in significant red letters. In speech, it commonly comes via the word absolut, meaning “absolutely.”

Das Kaugummikauen ist in meinem Auto absolut verboten. (Chewing gum is absolutely forbidden in my automobile.)

“No, but Actually Yes”

Tright here could be an entirely sepaprice post about various ways to say “yes,” but for now we’ll just cite one that goes hand-in-hand through “no”: doch. Basically, it’s a reply of “yes” ideal after the “no” has actually either been shelp or assumed.

Confirming that something is true as soon as an answer has been provided to the contrary is a distinction that English simply doesn’t make. We say yes, and also that’s that.

Confused? You have the right to think of it as the rough tantamount of “actually, yes!” or “in fact, yes!”

Have a look at these examples:

“Sie haben keine Geschwister.” (“You have no siblings.”)“Doch!” (“Yes I do!”)

Ich hab’ keine Münzen… achso, habe ich doch. (I don’t have any kind of coins… ah, in reality, I perform.)

Now that you understand the various methods to say “no” in Gerguy, you’ll start noticing them in usage in videos and in various other real-people conmessages.

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After that, all it takes is time. You’ll pick up on these nuances before you know it, and be expressing negation favor a indigenous Gerguy speaker!

Download: This blog article is obtainable as a convenient and portable PDF that you have the right to take anywhere. Click right here to acquire a copy. (Download)

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