The word NEE – no in Luxembourgish is very short and negative. However, sometimes when we wish to say NEE there are more polite ways to do it.
Imagine that you are in a Luxembourgish café or restaurant, the waiter may ask you if you’d like something else. But you’re fine. Then saying Nee would sound a bit harsh, doesn’t it?
So when we wish to say NEE there are more polite ways to do it. I have set out below a number of different ways to say NEE that you can use in different circumstances. Sometimes when we want to say NEE we try not to be rude or to hurt someone’s feelings so we prefer to use a variety of words that still mean NEE. Here are some useful Luxembourgish words and expressions that mean NEE.
And we’re going to practise saying each of these expressions together naturally so that you can make sure you’re saying NEE the right way.
Nee – No
This is the traditional way to say no in Luxembourgish. You might hear some people saying Neen, but it is just to emphasize the negation. Example:
Child: Mamma, kréien ech nach eng Cola? – Mom, can I have another coke?
Mother: Nee(n)! Du hues haut genuch Cola gedronk. – No! You’ve had enough coke for today.
In some situations, answering Nee can come across as rude though. so you may want to say Nee merci instead.
Nee Merci. – No thank you.
When you buy something at the bakery or order a meal at a restaurant, the waiter or seller is likely to ask you if you’d like something else. If you don’t want anything else you can simply say Nee merci or you can answer:
Nee merci, dat ass alles. – No thank you, that’s all.
Nee merci, ‘t ass alles an der Rei. – No thank you, I’m fine.
Or in case someone is offering you some help but you can manage alone you can answer:
Nee merci, dat geet schonn. – No thank you, I’m fine.
Nee merci, ech ginn eens. – No thank you, I’ll manage.
Ni – never
If you want to say you’ll never do or never did something, you can use ni
Waars du schonn a Schottland? – Have you (informal) ever been to Scotland?
Nee, nach ni. – No, never (so far).
Leider net – Unfortunately not
This is a way often used to politely decline requests while pretending you really wished you could help.
Kann ech e Remboursement kréien? – Can I get a refund?
Leider net. – Unfortunately not.
Nach net! – Not yet!
If you’re supposed to do something, but didn’t do it yet, you can use nach net.
Hues dee Film scho gesinn? – Did you see that movie already?
Nee, nach net. – No, not yet.
Et deet mir leed …. – I’m sorry ….
You can decline any offer by starting your answer with Et deet mer leed …
Let’s talk about how to say this. So when spoken, ‘Et’ is not pronounced and instead of mir native speakers say mer and thus it will sound like this: deet mer leed …. (Watch the video above to practice the pronunciation)
And then you can add the following phrases after Et deet mer leed ….
… mee dat geet (leider) net. – …. but I (afraid) can’t.
Et deet mer leed, mee dat geet leider net. –I’m sorry, but I’m afraid I can’t.
- …. dat ass leider net méiglech. – …. I’m afraid that’s not possible.
- …. mee ech hu (leider) keng Zäit. – … but I’m (afraid) I have no time.
- …. mee ech hu schonn eppes vir. – …. but I’ve already something planned.
Some useful casual ways to say no
These are often used in every day life conversations. Learn them so to recognise these in conversations and to be able to use them as well.
Ech mengen net. – I don’t believe so.
Wahrscheinlech net. – Probably not.
Net datt ech wéisst. – Not at my knowledge.
Nee, ech hu keng Loscht. – No, I don’t feel like (I don’t fancy the idea).
Ech hu keng Zäit dofir. – I don’t have time for that.
To say a STRONG NEE you can use one of the following expressions (with someone you know very well!!):
Dat kënnt net a Fro! – That’s out of question! / No way!
Op (guer) kee Fall! – By no means.
Nimools! – Never ever!
Bestëmmt net! – Certainly not.
Guer net. – Not at all.
Ech hunn iwwerhaapt keng Loscht. – I don’t feel like at all to …../ I don’t fancy at all ….
Try to translate the following sentences into Luxembourgish:
- I’m afraid, that’s not possible.
- I don’t have time on Friday.
- I don’t feel like going for a walk now.
- I’m sorry, but I’m afraid I can’t come to your party on Saturday.
- That’s unfortunately not possible.
- No thank you, I’m fine.
Listen to the video or get the pdf to know the answers:
I hope you liked it and found it useful. And …. why not sharing this lesson with your friends:-)
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