Can you say no?

How to say ‘NO’!

Do you know how to say ‘no’? Sometimes it can be difficult! Especially if someone really pushes for you to say ‘yes’.

Today, let’s look at a common way to say ‘no’. It is also polite!

“No thanks, I’m alright.”  OR “No thanks, I’m right.


Q: Would you like some tea?

A: No thank you.

Q: Oh, go on! It is very nice tea!

A: No really, thank you, but I’m alright.

Remember: It is okay to say ‘no’. In fact, I think it is very important to say ‘no’! If you say ‘yes’ all the time, people will treat you badly!

Today’s sentence is a very clear, polite way to say ‘no’. Try it for yourself!

Question: Do you know any other ways to say ‘no’ politely?

Practice: Would you like some beer?

Put your answer in the comments!

78 thoughts on “Can you say no?”

  1. oh no thanks, you are very kind, but I’ve just finished one and I must drive to home…it will be next time….

    1. Hi Kazeem.

      Good effort. You should not use the word ‘malodor’ here. Instead, use you could use words such as: horrible, terrible, foul.

      I don’t drink. It tastes horrible.
      It tastes terrible.
      It is foul.

      1. Yes,it is. When I studied in the university,some of my friend tried to persuade me to drink beer but I refused. Later I wanted to know the taste of it just to learn it taste not addict to it,I tried it a little bit,you know the following day I have some rashes on my back. The doctor said maybe it was because of my drinking.

    1. Great try Hakim. The correct sentence is:

      No, thank you very much but I have stopped drinking. I haven’t drunk any alcohol since last summer.


    1. Hi Sam
      Your answer is clear!
      Perhaps it would be better to say:

      “Thanks for asking, but I don’t like to drink too much caffeine. I only drink tea once a day.”

      Is your answer real? I also don’t like to drink too much caffeine!

  2. Thank you very much for your tea but I am quite full.Actually in HK I did meet those very pushy sales girls.Once you take one cloth and ready to pay and the sales girl will tell you if you buy two you will have another discount for the next item. So usually I will tell them I am sorry i just have the amount of money to pay for the one.If you tell them you don’t like the item they will bring another to you or tell you other itwm also have the same discount.

    1. Ha ha! Yes, I have had the same experience pink!
      One time a salesman hit me because I wouldn’t buy his stuff. It wasn’t a serious hit, but he was very frustrated!

  3. I think no matter how they dislike they shouldn’t have hit you!!You can call for the police and write to the consumer council if this happen in HK.

    1. Great work ml!

      You speak very clearly! Your recording is great!

      The best way to improve is to practice.

      Have you joined my discussion forum and chat room yet?

    1. Good answer… but do you really have pains? If you say this, the person will worry about you and try to help you.

      It is probably better to just say ‘No thanks’ than to say something that isn’t true. If you say something that isn’t true it will create more trouble for yourself!

  4. Hi John.thank you for this lesson.I think it is very important lesson,and expecially for me,because it is very difficult to say no for me.I think when you say no,very polite person can understand and reapet once and stop.

  5. Beer? Oh, I don’t like to drink something like piss of yeast fungi.
    I’m sorry if my words hart your feelings. Just I don’t want to drink beer.
    Besides, it’s impossible for me to understand those who drink beer.
    I’m sorry. please let me alone.

    1. Wow Taro!
      Those words are quite strong! Especially when you say “piss of yeast fungi” and “please let me alone”

      I think if you went out with someone for dinner and you said that, they may not ask you ever again!

      I would suggest something lighter and more friendly!

      1. Hello John,

        Thank you for your reply. I will try to use lighter words.

        No, I want to drink beer if possible, but tonight I came to this pub alone in a car.
        As I don’t want to be penalized by police, I can’t drink any beer. Sorry.

    1. Hi Samira
      They main difference between US and Australian English is the pronunciation and also some vocabulary.

      However, most Australians can understand 100% of what Americans say.

      Australian English is very much the same as British English as far as words and spelling, but the pronunciation is a bit different.

      Most language learners cannot tell the difference between these different English accents at first. But over time they can.

      Which accent do you prefer Samira?

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