Today someone offered me to join them for a card game, but I was heading out for something. I turned and said

"I am good, thanks"

and left them because I was in such a hurry that I had to leave the building as soon as possible.

I am using this response a lot when I am full and someone offers food or drink. I honestly think this can only be used in the context of talking about foods and drinks!

Was that line of response idiomatic or even correct?

2 Answers 2


It's correct, but I'm not sure it's quite idiomatic in the general case. "I'm good" tends to imply that you've had enough of something-- as in food or drink as you know. But when you decline an invitation with that statement, it has a similar shade so you're sort of implying that you've had enough of that kind of event, or of those people, for the time being. You might want to convey that sense, or you might not.

In the cases where you're declining an invitation simply because you have other plans, I think saying something like "no, thanks, I have a prior commitment" would be a bit more neutral. On the other hand, if you're declining a card game because you've attended several recently and have lost all your money, saying "I'm good" would make total sense!

  • 1
    I've never replied to a restaurant server with I'm good to mean I've had enough. (In fact, this is the first time I've heard of this connotation to the phrase.) I've only used it to mean I'm fine as I am for now. As such, I would find the use of I'm good, thanks to apply quite naturally to the poker situation—and to any other situation where someone is asked if they'd like to do something. Jun 7, 2019 at 14:05
  • @JasonBassford Thanks. I agree with you re: the sense of "I'm fine as I am for now". That sounds right to me also. But I still wouldn't use "I'm good" as a general way of saying "no thanks" to an invitation because for me it connotes a terse don't-want or don't-need that feels sort of rude even if it were true that you had had enough of poker.
    – Ben Zotto
    Jun 7, 2019 at 16:34
  • I wouldn't say it to mean I've had enough of poker. I'd say it to mean, for instance, I'd rather stay home tonight and simply don't feel like going out—which has nothing to do with having had enough of poker . . . ;) I also feel that adding thanks at the end means it's not an impolite reply. Jun 7, 2019 at 17:09
  • @BenZotto "I am good" doesn;t always imply that "I've had enough", but instead many a times gives vibes of "I don't need it" or specifically "I'm fine without it". Like when you're feeling somewhat sad or low and someone offers you drink, you'd still say "I'm good" to make good impression or atleast not spoil the current impression, because even if you feel low, you don't think drink is gonna help you feel better, so you say "I don't need it" as in "I am good". I've seen this usage in many movies.
    – Vicky Dev
    Oct 17, 2022 at 15:34

See Ben's answer for a good explanation of this phrase.

In your context, some possible idiomatic and informal replies could be:

"actually I gotta get going"
"sorry I have to run"
"thanks but I don't have time now"

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