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Here are some natural ways to say "no" in English (please forgive the language):

  • No
  • God no
  • Hell no
  • F*** no

How to include the English nuances in Japanese?


Best attempts:

  • No - いいえ or ううん
  • God no - 絶対いや
  • Hell no - ありえへん or ありえない
  • F*** no - ??

Motivating examples:

  • Wanna eat soba again tonight? No.
  • Do you want to travel on Golden Week? God no.
  • Should we run another 10 miles? Hell no.
  • Want to go to a Justin Bieber concert? F*** no.
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  • "頭可笑しいか、お前⁈" - you'd likely just use very different expressions instead of modifying "No".
    – deceze
    May 10 '15 at 15:28
  • I must add that Japanese doesn't have as versatile a word as "f***". At least you have to ask yourself why: do you hate Justin Bieber? do you hate going concerts? do you hate he who invites you? May 11 '15 at 2:04
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I will start by saying that Japanese-speakers do not say 「いいえ」 nearly as often as English-speakers say "No". 「いいえ」 is simply not an everyday word for many of us the same way "No" is for English-speakers.

As an average Japanese-speaker, the first time I ever used 「いいえ」 more than a couple times a week in my life was when I started learning English in junior high school and was "required" to translate "No" to 「いいえ」 every time we saw the word "No" as a reply in the textbook. It was painful as I was not accustomed to saying 「いいえ」 out loud.

In Japanese, we answer questions negatively mainly by negating the main verb, adjective or noun used in the question itself.

To the question "Wanna eat soba again tonight?", for instance, practically no Japanese-speakers will reply, 「いいえ」, believe it or not. That would be an incredibly firm denial if someone actually replied that way.

Mild-to-medium negation:

「(ううん)、あまり/イマイチ/そんなに(Verb)たくない/(Na-adjective)じゃない/(I-adjective)くない。」

「(それは and/or ちょっと)ないかも。」、「(それは and/or ちょっと)ありえないかも。」、「(それは and/or ちょっと)ムリかな。」

「それはちょっと・・・」← Kinda versatile, but do not overuse it!

Strong negation:

「いや/いやだ、[絶対]{ぜったい}(Verb)たくない/(Na-adjective)じゃない/(I-adjective)くない。」

「そんなわけねぇだろっ!」、「そんなわけないだろっ!」、 「なわけないっしょ!」、「ありえねえよ!」(そんな=んな=な)

「(Verb)はず(or わけ)ねぇだろっ!」、「(Verb)たいわけねぇだろっ!」

「絶対(or 100パー)ムリ!」、「絶対ダメ!」、「絶対ない」, etc.

「100パー~~(たく)ない!」

I count on your ability to conjugate verbs and adjective to fit into these expressions.

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  • +1. Also 無理 (by kids and young people)、ダメ、全然、etc. depending on context.
    – DXV
    Dec 24 '19 at 6:33

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