12 Spoken English Expressions with the Word 'NO'
Here are some more common English expressions with the word 'NO' which will be useful in many different situations.
This expression means “no difficulty” or “no problem.” Imagine your co-worker gives you a project:
“Can you get this done by tomorrow?”
“Sure – no sweat!”
(= it will be easy to finish by tomorrow)
No hard feelings
This phrase means you are not angry. You can use this expression after someone apologizes for doing something that could have made you angry, or when talking about a situation that could make you angry (but you are not).
“I’m really sorry about missing your birthday party – I know I said I’d be there, but then I had to work overtime, and my son got sick, and I got so busy I completely forgot to call you.”
“That’s OK – no hard feelings.”
There are three uses for this phrase.
It can mean “no possibility,” for example:
“There’s no way we can get home by 8. It’s already 7:30, and the traffic’s terrible – the drive will take at least an hour.”
This expression means it is not surprising. You can use it when you can see the logical connection between a cause and effect.
“No wonder the baby is crying – his diaper needs to be changed.”
…no ifs, ands, or buts.”
This expression means that there will be absolutely NO discussion, debate, negotiation, or doubt about something. Parents often use this phrase with children:
“You can’t watch TV until you finish your homework – no ifs, ands, or buts!“
Say this expression when talking about a competition or a comparison, in which one person or option was OBVIOUSLY better than the other; there is no possibility of the other person/option winning.
“Which restaurant is better – Subway or McDonald’s?”
“Subway, no contest! McDonald’s food is disgusting.”
This is no laughing matter
Use this expression when people are joking, laughing, or not being serious – and you want them to be more serious about the topic.
For example, imagine that somebody in your office often forgets to flush the toilet, and your boss holds a meeting about the problem, but all your co-workers are laughing and making jokes about it. Your boss might say:
“This is no laughing matter, folks. Not only is it unhygienic, but it makes a bad impression when we have visitors to our office – which could end up hurting our business relationships.”
Generally used in refusing to answer a question, especially in a sensitive situation.
"I spent the day saying ‘No comment’ to every reporter"
No harm done
This phrase means there was no damage or negative effects from a situation that could have caused damage.
“Oh no! I accidentally pressed the wrong key and cancelled the installation of the software! What do I do now???”
“No harm done – just click on the program to re-start the installation.”
There are two uses for this phrase:
You can say it when you’re a little bit surprised. (The surprise can be a good one or a bad one):
“I spent a year volunteering in Africa.”
“No kidding! What kind of work were you doing there?”
(You could also say “Wow!”)
No pain, no gain
This expression means “If you want to improve, you need to work so hard that it hurts.” It is often used in the context of sports and physical exercise:
“I ran 10 miles yesterday, and now my legs are really sore. But hey… no pain, no gain, right?”
This is a very informal expression that means “it’s not possible” or “it wasn’t possible.”
“I tried to fix my car myself, but no dice. I’ll have to take it to the mechanic.”
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