‘Ni al caso’ – Meaning / In English

In short – ‘ni al caso’ is a colloquial Mexican expression used to dismiss something as senseless, untrue, or irrelevant to the conversation at hand. It’s actually an abbreviation of ‘no viene al caso’.

Remember the 90s TV show, “Clueless”?

Well, ‘¡Ni al caso!’ is the perfect translation of Cher’s famous catchphrase, “As if!”.

It can also be used in a similar way to the English phrases ‘that’s irrelevant’, ‘that has nothing to do with it’ and ‘no way’.

Uses / Meanings of ‘ni al caso’

  • To respond to an irrelevant comment / remark
  • As a synonym of ‘no way

To respond to an irrelevant comment / remark

When we use ‘ni al caso’ in conversation it’s usually because someone said something completely irrelevant (and perhaps even annoying!!).

Dos amigos están hablando del cine…

Poncho – …y luego llega Javier a decir que tenemos que entregar el proyecto el viernes.

Beto – Ni al caso.

Two friends are speaking about movies …

Poncho – … and then Javier comes in and tells us that the project is due on Friday.

Beto – What does that have to do with anything!

Sometimes it also means something along the lines of ‘that’s not true’ –

Paula – Dijeron en las noticias que la gasolina está más cara por culpa del presidente.

Fátima – Ni al caso, los precios subieron por la privatización del petróleo.

Paula – They said on the news that the President is to blame for the hike in gas prices.

Fátima – That’s not true, the prices went up because of the privatization of oil.

It can also be used as a way of discrediting or ignoring another person’s opinion, kinda like the English word ‘whatever’

Mariana – Mi mamá está bien loca; se súper enojó porque llegué tarde anoche.

Renata – Tal vez si le hubieras avisado que ibas a salir, no se habría enojado.

Mariana – Ya, wey* … ni al caso con lo que dices.

Mariana – My mom’s crazy; she got super angry because I came home late last night.

Renata – Maybe if you’d warned her that you were going out, she wouldn’t have been so annoyed.

Mariana – Shut up, dude … whatever.

*Erika’s note – the phrase ya, wey is the Mexican equivalent of ‘come on, dude‘ or ‘shut up, dude’.

As a synonym of ‘no way

Ni al caso’ can also be used as a synonym of ‘no way’.

Bear in mind that it isn’t the only way to say no way’ in Spanish … be sure to head over to our pretty darn comprehensive article on the topic if you’d like to find out more!

Alejandro – ¿Vas a invitar a Cecilia a tu fiesta? Para mí que te gusta.

Sebastián – Ni al caso, sólo me cae bien.

Alejandro – Are you going to invite Cecilia to your party? I reckon you fancy her.

Sebastián – No way, I just think she’s cool.

Montse – ¿Fuiste al concierto con Martín? ¿Ya andan?

Karen – Ni al caso, sólo somos amigos.

Montse – Did you go to the concert with Martín? Are you guys dating?

Karen – No way, we’re just friends.

Ni al caso‘ pronunciation

Ni’ is said like ‘nee’, ‘al’ like ‘ahl’ and ‘caso’ like ‘kah-soh’.

 / nee ahl kah-soh /

Similar expressions to ‘ni al caso

Equis tu comentario

This one’s used to say either that something’s irrelevant or just a load of nonsense.

Mosey on down to our article on equis if you’d like to know more about this super useful slang term!

Jonathan – ¿Y si en vez de ir a la fiesta, nos ponemos a estudiar para el examen?

Marcela – Equis tu comentario.

Jonathan – What if instead of going to the party, we start studying for the exam?

Marcela – Yeah, right.

Pablo – Seguro Joaquín te engañó porque no le prestas atención.

Silvana – ¡Equis tu comentario!

Pablo – I´m sure Joaquín cheated on you because you don´t pay him enough attention.

Silvana – What a load of nonsense!

Para nada

Para nada’ translates to ‘not at all’ or ‘that’s not true’ and it’s also used to refute a comment or idea.

Perla – ¿Piensas casarte con Daniel?

María – Para nada, sólo somos novios.

Perla – Are you thinking of marrying Daniel?

María – Not for a second, we’re just dating.

Si compras esos zapatos nuevos no te va a alcanzar para pagar la renta.

Para nada, me sobra el dinero.

If you buy those new shoes, you won’t be able to pay for the rent.

That’s not true, I have plenty of money.

Final thoughts

While ‘ni al caso’ isn’t a vulgar expression, it can be perceived as offensive … mainly because the person you’re speaking to may feel upset or slighted by the fact that you’ve so brutally dismissed their comment / idea.

Oh, and be sure to check out our article on all the different ways to use ‘mero’ in Mexican Spanish if you want to up your Mexican spanish game even more!

¡Hasta luego!

Rupert's lived in Mexico for nearly a decade and has been working as a Spanish teacher for even longer (over 10 years now, wow!). He specializes in simple (yet effective) explanations and is a veritable grammar-whizz.

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