Ways To Say Never In German

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Written By Jessica Knight

Founder of Linguatics. Passionate multilinguist.

Are you learning German and struggling to find the right words to express the concept of ‘never’? Look no further! In this article, we will explore various ways to say ‘never’ in German, so you can confidently communicate your thoughts and ideas.

Whether you are in a formal setting, having an everyday conversation, or expressing doubt or uncertainty, we’ve got you covered. We will discuss commonly used expressions for ‘never,’ formal alternatives, colloquial phrases, and even how to use ‘never’ in negative sentences.

Additionally, we will delve into its usage in giving instructions or commands, as well as in proverbs and idioms. By the end of this article, you will have a comprehensive understanding of the different ways to convey the idea of ‘never’ in German.

So, let’s dive in and enhance your German language skills!

Commonly Used Expressions for Never

If you’re looking to spice up your German vocabulary, you’ll never go wrong with these commonly used expressions for never!

One way to say never in German is ‘niemals.’ This word is often used to emphasize the idea of never happening.

Another expression for never is ‘nie.’ It’s a simple and straightforward way to convey the concept of never.

These expressions are essential to express the absence of something happening in German.

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Formal Ways to Say Never

Formal expressions for never can be visually represented using contractions. One way to convey this is by saying ‘niemals,’ which combines the words ‘nie’ (never) and ‘als’ (as).

Another formal option is ‘keinesfalls,’ which translates to ‘by no means.’ These expressions are commonly used in formal settings or when expressing strong opposition.

By using these formal expressions, you can clearly convey the idea of never in a precise and accurate manner.

Colloquial Alternatives for Never

Have you ever come across more casual ways to express the concept of never in German?

Well, in colloquial language, Germans often use phrases like ‘nie im Leben’ (never in life), ‘keine Chance’ (no chance), or simply ‘niemals’ (never).

These alternatives convey a sense of informality and are commonly used in everyday conversations.

So, if you want to sound more casual when expressing the idea of never in German, try using these phrases instead of the formal ones.

Expressing Never in Negative Sentences

In casual German conversations, you’ll often hear phrases like ‘keine Chance’ or ‘nie im Leben’ to express the idea of never in a more relaxed and informal way.

These phrases are commonly used in negative sentences to emphasize the impossibility of something happening.

For example, you might say ‘Ich gehe nie im Leben mit dir in dieses Restaurant’ (I will never in my life go to that restaurant with you).

These expressions add a stronger emphasis to the idea of never.

Never in Everyday Conversations

Can’t believe you’ve never used these cool phrases in your everyday chats! It’s time to spice up your conversations!

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If you want to express ‘never’ in German, you can say ‘nie’ or ‘niemals.’ These words are commonly used and understood by native speakers.

So, next time you’re chatting with your German friends, impress them by incorporating these phrases into your everyday conversations. You’ll sound like a pro in no time!

Never in Formal Writing

Avoiding the use of contractions is an essential rule to follow when it comes to formal writing.

Contractions such as ‘can’t’ or ‘won’t’ should be avoided as they can make your writing seem less formal and professional.

Instead, opt for the full form of the word, such as ‘cannot’ or ‘will not.’

This will help maintain a more accurate, precise, and thorough style, which is important in formal writing.

Never in Informal Situations

Hey, you there! Wanna know how to instantly sound more casual and laid-back?

Well, using contractions like ‘can’t’ or ‘won’t’ in informal situations is the way to go! Contractions are shortened forms of words where an apostrophe replaces missing letters.

They’re commonly used in spoken language and informal writing. So, instead of saying ‘I cannot come,’ you can simply say ‘I can’t come,’ which sounds much more relaxed and natural.

Give it a try!

Never in Expressing Doubt or Uncertainty

Using contractions in expressing doubt or uncertainty can add a layer of authenticity and vulnerability to your communication. It’s like saying ‘I’m not sure’ instead of ‘I am not sure’. Contractions create a more casual and conversational tone, which can help to convey your uncertainty in a relatable way.

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They also make your language flow more smoothly, allowing you to express your doubts or uncertainties with ease and clarity.

Never in Giving Instructions or Commands

Follow these steps and you’ll be able to create a masterpiece in no time.

When giving instructions or commands, use ‘nie’ or ‘niemals’ to convey the idea of never. For example, if you want to say ‘Never touch that button,’ you can say ‘Berühre niemals diesen Knopf.’

Make sure to use the imperative form of the verb and place ‘nie’ or ‘niemals’ before it. This will ensure clear and effective communication.

Never in Proverbs and Idioms

In German, there are idioms and proverbs that cleverly convey the concept of never without explicitly using the word.

One such idiom is ‘Einmal ist keinmal,’ which translates to ‘Once is never.’ This proverb emphasizes the importance of second chances and not dwelling on past mistakes.

Another common phrase is ‘Wer A sagt, muss auch B sagen,’ meaning ‘If you say A, you have to say B.’ This proverb emphasizes the importance of following through and not giving up.


In conclusion, there are various ways to express the concept of ‘never’ in German. From commonly used expressions to formal and colloquial alternatives, there are options for different contexts and situations.

Whether it’s in negative sentences, everyday conversations, informal situations, expressing doubt or uncertainty, or giving instructions or commands, German provides a range of ways to convey the idea of never.

Additionally, proverbs and idioms also incorporate the concept of never. By understanding these different expressions, learners can effectively communicate their intentions in German conversations.