Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

In this episode, you’ll learn one of the most natural and common ways to say no that native English speakers use when they don’t need something.

Lindsay and Michelle answer a question from an avid All Ears English podcast listener on how to say no in English.

Listen in on their discussion and learn fun and fresh ways to decline and offer in a natural way in English.

What does “I’m Good” mean?

CL, one of the biggest listeners of All Ears English asked the following question:

“When someone offers you (more) food or drink. I know when people say, ‘I’m good,” it means they don’t want it or want it more in a polite way. Is there any other way to say it which has the same level of politeness? Is ‘no, thank you’ less polite? How about ‘thanks, but no thanks.’? I always hear it in a more sarcastic way. Is it less common to use this in a genuine way? Or it only depends on the tone?”


Lindsay answers CL’s first question on what “I’m good” means.

Saying “I’m good” when someone offers you more food or drink is another way to say you don’t need any more food or drink.

In CL’s question as well, they wanted to clarify if using “I’m good” is more formal than using “no, thank you.”

Michelle says “I’m good” is not formal at all.

Using “No, thank you” is more appropriate to use in a formal situation such as eating at a fancy restaurant.

Lindsay adds that it really depends on you or the people around you.

If you are talking to someone who is respected, you will use “no, thank you.”

This is a more classic and formal way to decline an offer.

For situations where you’d rather respond in a more modern and relative way, you can use “I’m all good.”

You can use this when out with friends for lunch where it is a laid back setting.

The people around you would also affect your choice of words to use.

If you are dining with people who are more formal, you would mirror their actions and how you speak.

So it’s up to you to decide depending on the situation.

How to Use “Thanks, But No Thanks”

The second part of CL’s question is the use of “thanks, but no thanks.”

Michelle and Lindsay agree that the use of this is not a genuine response to an offer.

Lindsay advises to not use this because it is a snarky or rude way to say no to someone.

It really matters what you use to respond. It can easily give off a bad impression if you use “thanks, but no thanks” in a formal setting.

You will come off as disrespectful and impolite.

Lindsay is more likely to use “I’m good” rather than “no, thanks” because she is very casual.

But if there were an occasion where the Governor offered her something, she would use “no, thanks.”

She is more laid back and relaxed but when the situation requires her to be more formal, she will adjust.

Fun And Fresh Ways to Say No

You can use “I’m good” and “No thank you” in many other situations.

It doesn’t have to be when someone is offering you food.

It can be when you are shopping and a salesperson is offering you more items to buy.

It can also be a situation where someone lends you a jacket or invites you to a concert.

Lindsay mentioned that there may be All Ears English listeners out there that would be confused with “I’m good” and “I’m well.”

Lindsay and Michelle discussed this in episode 1047: I’m Good Versus I’m Well.

Here are some role play samples to show you how to say no in different situations.

Role-play to Practice

  • Scenario 1: Michelle is hosting a dinner for friends

M: Lindsay do you want any more cake?

L: I’m good, thanks.

  • Scenario 2: Michelle and Lindsay are coworkers

L: I have some extra file folders. Could you use some more?

M: I’m good, but thank you!

  • Scenario 3: Lindsay is the waitress

L: Can I get you anything else?

M: I think we’re good. Just the check, please.

Additional Ways to Say No

The examples brought up by CL are not the only ways to turn someone down or refuse an offer.

Here are other ideas, from Lindsay and Michelle, on how to say no to someone:

  • “All Set”
  • “No, thanks”
  • “None for me, thanks”

There are casual examples of saying no.

It is also a natural way that a native English speaker would use to say no.

You can also use these when asking someone if they want more.

For example: “Do you need more water, or are you good?”

This is basically saying is everything okay? do you want more? or are you good?

Once you’re comfortable with these examples, you can mix them up and add them to your English vocabulary.


Thanks to CL’s question, we now have a number of fun and fresh ways to say no.

Try and incorporate these examples in your daily conversations.

This is a good way to level up your English and add to your vocabulary to build your confidence in speaking like a native English speaker.

You can easily choose your words to correctly decline offers in both a casual and formal situation.

Do you have more ways to say no?

Share it in the comments below for us and other All Ears English followers and listeners to use.

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