7

I was told that is ok to use

何でもないが欲しいです。

in an informal setting for "I don't want anything."

Is this correct? And what is an expression I can use in a formal situation?

12

If the scenario were saying "I don't want anything" in response to someone offering you something (food, drink, etc.), you could also use

(私は)[結構]{けっ・こう}です。 → I'm fine/all right.

  • 3
    If you are looking for the most common phrase in these situations, I would have to say that this was the MOST common of all phrases I heard while I was in Japan, like, maybe twice as much as all others combined! Usually preceded by いや or something similar. – BillyNair May 12 '17 at 0:28
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何でもないが欲しいです would mean 'It's nothing, but I want it.' Honestly it makes very little sense. You seem to have taken 何でもない as a noun, but really it's a full phrase meaning 'It's nothing.' To say you don't want anything, I think 何も欲しくない would work (though I'm probably wrong). It would be a little more natural to say 何も要らない 'I don't need anything', though, I think. Formally you could say 何も要らないです or 何も要りません.

  • I think 何もしくない would be better for saying "I don't want anything". However, as in English, there's a difference between 欲しくない and 要らない: the same as between "I don't want" and I don't "need". 何でもしくない sound more like "I no longer have desire for anything", while 何も要らない just sounds like "I'm okay". – Right leg May 11 '17 at 12:45
  • i was thinking i'd phrase it as ほしいものはない. i'd be interested on feedback on this. – A.Ellett May 11 '17 at 13:03
  • @A.Ellett I think it's more neutral than 何でもしくない, since 何でも sounds quite impulsive. IMO however, it would be more used as a question ( ほしいものは? -ない), or in an indirect speech (ほしいものはないと言ってる), but it feels too generic to be used for taking about oneself. This is however just how it feels to me, maybe someone could confirm. – Right leg May 11 '17 at 13:13
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    @Rightleg 「何でもしくない」って?何かのタイポですよね? – Chocolate May 11 '17 at 14:25
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    "I don't need/want anything"の意味で「何でも欲しくない」とは言いませんね・・「何も欲しくない」とか「何も要らない」でいいと思います – Chocolate May 11 '17 at 14:33
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In formal way: 申{もう}し訳{わけ}ありませんが何{なに}も欲{ほ}しくありません。 / 申{もう}し訳{わけ}ありませんが何{なに}も要{い}りません。

In informal way: 何{なに}も欲{ほ}しくない(よ)。 / 何{なに}も欲{ほ}しくないんだ。 / 何{なに}も要{い}らない(よ)。

Postscript
何も要らない is better than 何も欲しくない, which is written in Nothing at all's answer.

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