Practice English Speaking&Listening with: 25 ways to SAY NO strongly!

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Hi, everyone.

This lesson is about strong ways to say NO.

Lots of people are scared of that word, of saying no, so they want to know: "How can

I say it politely?

Or how can I not offend someone when I say: 'no'?"

And this lesson is not about that; this lesson is how to say "no" when you really mean it,

because sometimes we do need to say "no".

It's an important word, and we need to say it so that people respect us when we say "no".

So, I've got some different examples of situations where we might say "no", and different examples

of language we can use.

So, the first example here is a situation where somebody asks for your number, and I'm

imagining a situation where you don't want to give your number to that person, they're

hassling you, you're not attracted to them, you don't like them, you definitely don't

want to give them your number - here are some things people say.

First, a very common response is: "Sorry, I've got a boyfriend."

And people might say that because they think: "If I say I've got a boyfriend, then that's

why I can't give you my number.

I would if I could, but I've already got a boyfriend, so that's why I can't give it to you."

But in my opinion, this is not... this is not a strong enough no, so I'm going to cross

that one out.

Whether it's true or not, you've got a boyfriend or you haven't got a boyfriend, if you don't

want to give that person your number, use something a bit stronger and don't worry about

hurting their feelings in this situation, if they're hassling you.

So, you could be more blunt.

"Blunt" is another way of saying more direct.

You can say: "I'm not interested."

Or you could say: "Not gonna happen.


Not gonna happen."

This is...

This is not standard English; this is slang - the way we would actually say it.

We wouldn't say: "Not going to happen", because it's not as...

It's not as fierce, so we shorten it to say: "Not gonna happen."

Or you could say: "Not in a million years."

This is so impossible and so unlikely for you to ask for my number, the only thing I

can say is: "Not in a million years."

You can keep asking me again, and again, and again for a million years, and the answer

is going to be: "No".

You could say: "No chance.

No chance", and that means: You have no chance with me; no chance.

No chance.

If the...

If the person who wants your number is coming on really strong, like they won't go away;

a lot of hassle, you can then say: "How many times do I have to tell you?!"

You're getting more serious, you're saying it more like you mean it now, because you

want this person to leave you alone.

A similar...

A similar kind of strength of "no" for that situation is to say: "What part of 'no' don't

you understand?

I've said 'no' to you already; this is the final straw.

You're really getting on my nerves now.

What part of 'no' don't you understand?"

This makes you...

This is like suggesting the other person is a bit stupid as well.

"Don't you understand 'no'?"

And the last two, imagine if that person is really hassling you: "Leave me alone!" or

"Go away!"

Now, it is a little bit hard in the sense that when we...

When we do get more direct and aggressive, we have to be careful in a sense as well,

because with some people this will...

This will work when you shout at them, like: "Leave me alone!

Go away!"

If you're...

If the way you say it is so strong and there's a lot of power in your words, it can scare

a lot of people off; they go.

But some people react to aggression and the way you...

The way you say things.

So, if you shouted at them: "Leave me alone!" they might be like: "What's your problem?"

or something like that, so you always have to judge in the situation: Is it safe to use

aggression with this person?

It's safe to say: "No", but you have to decide how strong you can be.

Next situation where you want to say: "No" is somebody wants to borrow money from you,

it's a friend, and you don't want to lend money to this person because they asked you

before and they never paid you back.

So, they want to borrow 50 pounds now, or "50 quid" is the slang way to say "pounds"

in London.

"Can I borrow 50 quid?"

And you don't want to give them more because they've already got 50 quid of yours they

didn't pay back last time, so you could say to them: "Are you serious?

I can't believe you're asking me."

"Are you joking?"

You've asked me for something that's so shocking because you already owe me 50 quid.

All I can say is: "Are you joking?

Is this a joke?"

We can also use: "No chance."

We used it before to make that person go away, but this time we're explaining why; we're

adding a sentence.

We're saying: "No chance.

You didn't pay me back last time."

So, really, it's your fault; no chance.

Sorry, not this time.

Then we have: "Not on your nelly!" and "Not on your life!"

This one, you're not really going to ever hear it around; it's a sort of Cockney...

Cockney kind of idiom, so you probably won't ever hear that, but I thought it was good

to include because it means basically the same thing as: "Not on your life!"

And it's also very similar to: "No chance."

It's like saying...

It's really like saying: "This is...

This is your fault, really.

I'm not going to lend it to you because I remember what happened last time."

Okay, now we've got some more examples coming up.

Okay, our next situation where we want to say: "No" is when some dodgy person calls

you up on the phone and says: "You have won a million dollars.

All you need to do is give me your password and bank details, and we'll pay that million

dollars in straightaway."

So if you feel a little bit: "Hmm..."

A little bit suspicious about this phone call; you don't believe it, you don't trust it - what

can you say?

"Under no circumstances will I give you my password."


This way of saying: "No" is more formal than a lot of the other examples we've looked at

so far.

So, "f" for formal.

"Excuse me?

On no account will I be giving you my bank details" - also quite formal.

Then: "Sure, I'll give you my password when pigs might fly."

So, in a way, I'm not sure if someone would use an idiom in that situation.


If you're actually angry that somebody wants to rob you and take all the money from your

bank account, maybe you wouldn't use an idiom like this.

But when we say: "when pigs fly" or "when pigs might fly", it means when the impossible

thing happens.

So: "I'll give you my password, but only when it's so impossible, when pigs are flying."

So we're saying: "Yes", but we're saying: "No" at the same time.

I'm going to put "idiom" here for this one.

This is another idiom: "You've got a snowball's chance in hell!"

We could add on "mate", there.

"You've got a snowball's chance in hell, mate!"

So, a "snowball" is a very cold thing; hell is a very hot place - you put it together,

the snowball is not going to last a long time; it's all going to melt.

So, if we think about the person who wants the password from you, in the same way the

snowball will not last long in hell; it will melt, it's impossible - you will get this

password from me - no.

It's just not...

It's not going to happen.


No way.

And another idiom you can say is: "Do you think I was born yesterday?"

Somebody who was born yesterday is very nave, like a baby, and you can trick them very easily.

So, if...

If this person calling you thinks you...

They must think you were born yesterday to be asking you this, because you're not stupid

and you know this person is trying to steal your money.

You weren't born yesterday, but that person must have been because they think you're stupid

to ask.

Obviously you know; you know they're just trying to get your money.

Okay, so now let's look at a different situation.

This situation is when a teenager wants to go out.

Let's say the teenager really wants to go clubbing on a school night, and I'm thinking:

"Well, maybe they wouldn't necessarily tell their parents if that's what they want to

do", but in this example they are, so they say to their Mom or their Dad, say: "Oh, can


Can I go to the club tonight?

Is that going to be okay?"

And this is what their parent or parents would say back to them: "No way, Jose!"


That is...

That is an expression, but to be honest, I don't really hear...

I don't really hear it a lot.

It's a bit...

It's a little bit jokey, and you maybe say that if you wanted somebody to laugh in the

way that you said "no".

It's not a very common one.

Next one is: "Uh-uh.

Don't even go there."

That means...


When it says: "Don't even go there", it's not talking about go to the club as in go

to that place; it's saying: "Don't"...

It's saying: "Finish talking about this.


Don't go there" in the sense of talking about this thing because it's just...

It's so "no".

Don't even go there.

And it's very...

It's very informal, kind of slang English as well.

"Fat chance.

Fat chance of that."

Also impossible.

And it sounds like quite final language.

If you say: "Fat chance" to someone, it's not really something they can argue back about.

"Fat chance.

End of conversation.

End of story."

"Absolutely not."

If we use: "Absolutely" here, it makes our "no" so much bigger; we give more emphasis

to our "no".

And also, "absolutely" is quite a...

It tends to be used by sort of more posh people in England, so this kind of parent saying:

"Absolutely not" is a little bit...

A little bit formal, and maybe a bit of a posh person as well.

It's different...

It's different to these other examples in the kind of person who would say it.

Sometimes when a person...

When you want to add authority and power to your "no", sometimes you can use the person's


So, let's say the teenager is called Isabelle: "Isabelle, that's out of the question."

When something is "out of the question", it's not a possibility.

"We can't talk about this.

Why are you even asking me?"

And the last example here is for those kind of parents who don't like to say "no" themselves

and don't like to be the disciplinarian or the one with the authority, they could just

say: "Ask your father."

So, really, they want to say "no" themselves, but they can't, so they say: "Ask your father."

So this one also doesn't count, because this is not saying...

This is not saying "no" yourself, like the other examples.

So, if you learn these ways to say "no", you can be more assertive.

When you say "no", you can say "no" with more power than before, and people will listen

to you.

I also have a similar lesson that's to do with using our words with more strength and

more power that I recommend you watch now; it's on submissive language.

And I also have a quiz for you to do on this lesson.

Thank you so much for watching, and join me again soon.


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