So we’ve learned several ways to say ‘no’. In the language reference section of lesson 1 we have the main facts. And we’ve also done some exercises.
I’m afraid not = A polite way of saying no.
Not really = You don’t care very much about something.
I don’t think so/Not as far as I know/Not to my knowledge/Possibly not/Probably not = You think you know something but are not completely sure.
Certainly not/Definitely not = To emphasize that your answer to a question or request is definitely ‘no’.
Of course not = You think an idea is stupid or insulting.
No way/Not likely = Informal: very definite way of saying ‘no’.
You must be joking/Are you kidding = Shows that you think somebody’s suggestion or request is crazy.
Not exactly/Not quite = You think that something is almost (but not) correct or true.
I wish I could = Used to express regret that something is not possible.
Not especially/Not very (much) = Used to say ‘no’ to a question about your opinion of something.
Exercises (p. 9 Student’s book)
1 Choose the correct phrase to complete the responses.
1 A: Are you coming tonight?
1 B: Not really / I’m afraid not / You must be joking. I’d love to, but I can’t, it’s my turn to babysit!
2 A: Is there something special you’d like to do for your birthday?
2 B: Not to my knowledge / Certainly not / Not really, I’d be happy to stay at home.
3 A: So, your brother’s a chess champion, is he?
3 B: Not exactly / No way / Possibly not, I mean, he’s won a few matches, but I wouldn’t describe him as a champion yet!
4 A: Do you think you’ll pass?
4 B: Not to my knowledge / Possibly not / Not exactly, but I’m going to try my best.
5 A: Has Mr Smith checked out of his hotel yet?
5 B: Not to my knowledge / Not really / Not exactly, but you’d better check with reception.
6 A: Can I stay up and watch the film?
6 B: Possibly not / Certainly not / Not really, it’s time you were in bed, you’ve got to go school tomorrow.
7 A: Are you going to apologize to them?
7 B: Not exactly / Not really / No way! I don’t see why I should, it’s all their fault.
8 A: Are you coming up the mountain with us then?
8 B: You must be joking / Not to my knowledge / I’m afraid not! You lot are mad. I’m not climbing up there today.
2 Match the expressions a-h to the correct answers in exercise 1. More than one answer is possible.
a Are you kidding?
b Definitely not!
c I wish I could!
d Not especially.
e Not likely!
f Not quite.
g Not that I know.
h Probably not.
This is my solution: 1-c .. 2-f .. 3-f/d .. 4-h .. 5-g .. 6-b .. 7-e .. 8-a.