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When I ask my children to do chores, they often say they will do them under a condition like giving them some money or cake or letting them watch TV, etc.

How do we tell someone we want them to do what we say without any negotiation?

For example, "You have to do it. No deal!" or something like that!

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  • 3
    If they insist on negotiating, counter-offer with a different condition: "If you do the chores, I'll let you continue living under my roof." Jan 18 at 2:25
  • I've "Just do it" used this way.
    – Peter
    Jan 18 at 9:18
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    Telling someone that is a negotiation tactic.... (But your meaning is clear)
    – fectin
    Jan 18 at 23:36
  • @Harlin Did you mean "… and you will…", or what? Jan 30 at 20:31
  • There are at least dozens of ways of expressing that and if we stick to the wording of the Question, the most obvious Answer will be "This is not open to/up for negotiation." Please be very clear, adding even "You will do it" would necessarily detract from the very idea and any attempt to explain what might otherwise happen, or why, would be worse. Jan 30 at 20:38

11 Answers 11

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You have to do it, period8.

which means no further discussion is possible or desirable.

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    +1 Also commonly expressed as full stop. ie: You have to do it, full stop.
    – J...
    Jan 17 at 22:48
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    @J...: Yes. I'm pretty sure that in real life I've only ever heard "period", but I've encountered "full stop" online, mostly from people that I know to be British; so I assume this is a US/UK distinction, with Americans using "period" and Brits using "full stop". (Not sure about other parts of the anglosphere.)
    – ruakh
    Jan 18 at 1:29
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    @ruakh That's true of the punctuation mark as well. Americans call the thing at the end of a sentence a "period", while Brits refer to it as "full stop". Either version should be understood on either side of the Pond, but might mark the speaker as one or the other, accordingly. Jan 18 at 18:34
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    @DarrelHoffman: Yes; I've belatedly realized that J...'s link, which relates to the punctuation mark, does indicate that full stop is UK and that the US counterpart is period. :-)
    – ruakh
    Jan 18 at 23:03
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    Another idomatic way to express this idea is "End of discussion." Sometimes you will hear people use this to follow "period," e.g. "You have to paint the shed today. Period. End of discussion." This is somewhat aggressive, but it gets the point across that your mind is made up.
    – Max Lennon
    Jan 19 at 20:04
18

One possibility is

And that's that!

or

And that's final!

which mean "and that is all there is to say about it; there will not be any more discussion."

Reference: https://www.ihbristol.com/content/and-thats-thatand-thats-final

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    I would consider And that's that! to be older/less common than And that's final!.
    – Cullub
    Jan 18 at 20:48
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A phrase that covers this, and also means "no excuses", is

No ifs, ands, or buts!

The more literal meaning being "no responses with the word 'if', etc."

"No deal" works great to say "no" to what they've already proposed. If you want instead to say "no" to what you expect them to ask for, "no deals" would be better.

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I'm not asking you to X. I'm telling you to X.

is a reasonably typical way to do respond to an attempted negotiation where I am.

In a more shorthand: I'm not asking, I'm telling. Or even I'm not asking.

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  • This is of course most effective when when accurate. If in fact you did ask rather than command (per the OP's words) then that undercuts this response. Jan 20 at 21:18
8

You could say, no bargaining, please, but if you're speaking to your kids, I don't see why you couldn't say no deal! You could also go for

That's not negotiable!

The technical term non-negotiable is described by Cambridge in this way:

Something that is non-negotiable cannot be changed by discussion.

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    No deal? No, that does not work. Do x, no deal?
    – Lambie
    Jan 17 at 16:59
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    @Lambie "Can we please go to Disney Land this summer, pretty please?" B: "No deal, kids. We're going to see your grandparents in Maine, and that's final." FreeDict. The OP does say, ... or something like that.
    – fev
    Jan 17 at 17:02
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    For a deal, there has to be an exchange. That entry does not explain that. Random sentences are not always accurate semantically.
    – Lambie
    Jan 17 at 17:06
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    @Lambie - how times change! When I was a boy, parents told their children to do things, and the children obeyed. If I had had the temerity to ask my father what I would get if I did something he had told me to do, he would have rapidly provided a sample of what I would get if I didn't do it. Jan 17 at 22:46
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    "Deal" said on it's own means you accept someone's offer. "No deal" means that you refuse someone's offer. It does not mean you will not bargain.
    – windblade
    Jan 18 at 3:40
7

This is what my parents used to say to me:

You are going to do your homework and I don't want to hear any more about it!

or

... and I don't want to hear another word about it!

So, basically, you are saying that you are having the final word, and no longer wish to discuss the matter further (with the argumentative party).

Another variation on the theme:

... and it's not up for (any further) discussion/debate!

or

... and I'm not discussing it any further!

3

You seem to be asking about an order that’s not to be questioned. There are many ways to express this, with some of the most direct (suitable for a parent talking to their child) being “Now!” or “Go!”

One more suitable for adults would be, “This isn’t open for discussion,” or “This decision is final.” One associated with the military would be, “That’s an order,” or “You have your orders.”

An idiom for when you present a non-negotiable offer is, take it or leave it.

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  • "Take it or leave it" is when you are already in a negotiation, and the other party has the option to decline your offer. If the kid chooses "leave it", does that mean they can choose not to do the chore?
    – gotube
    Jan 19 at 1:31
  • @gotube Agreed; see my second paragraph.
    – Davislor
    Jan 19 at 1:53
  • You have an incorrect answer highlighted in your first sentence. That's not helpful.
    – gotube
    Jan 19 at 2:04
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    @gotube Okay, I moved it to a less prominent position.
    – Davislor
    Jan 19 at 3:24
2

Some people might find:

“I need you to do X”

to be sufficiently firm.

(It's a phrasing that seems to have gained in popularity. I'd take it to be a very firm instruction — though I get the impression that other folks might find it much softer.)

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"You have to do it, or else."

There are a number of ways to communicate the idea you're trying to express, depending on how forceful you're trying to be and what your relationship is with the other person. One way is with an implied threat of consequences.

You have to do it, or else.

The "or else" implies that there will be unspecified consequences or an escalation if it (whatever "it" is) is not done. In American English, you might hear this phrase between parents and children (usually with the implied threat of consequences), managers and employees (same), or even coworkers or young siblings (where the implied threat is most often escalation to an authority figure).

Note that while there are some contexts where the phrase could mean the consequences are external or impartial (e.g. "Don't forget to finish your term paper, or else!") as a general rule you should be aware that the phrase is both intentionally vague and will generally be perceived as a direct or indirect threat. It should therefore be used cautiously, and should typically not be used in polite, formal, or professional speech or writing.

There are better alternatives for effective communication about both essential requirements and known consequences. Implied threats and vagueness provide neither, but this phrase does pop up fairly often in informal and colloquial speech.

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    When dealing with children, if you say "or else" it's best to know already what "or else" is, and be willing to follow through on it. Otherwise they will quickly figure out that it's an empty threat.
    – nasch
    Jan 18 at 21:39
  • This sounds childish and silly these days Jan 20 at 17:56
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This is not a negotiation.

cannot be beat for conveying that you are not open to negotiating, and it is sometimes used in exactly the kind of situation you describe, albeit usually in response to the kind of bargaining attempt you mention.

You might emphasize by following up with

Do it!

and even

Now!

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The appropriate imperative depends on the hierarchical authority of your relationship.
God to man: Thou shalt, thou shalt not
Parent to child: you must, you must not (if English, mustn't)
Employer to employee: xyz, do you understand me?
Military: and THAT's an Order!
Peer to Peer: Lets xyz, will you comply?
Pastor to flock: these are not the "ten Suggestions"

Of course facial expression and body language either reinforce a command, or soften the urgency.

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  • You wanted a simple answer for a novice, but ANY single answer isn't a good answer. I wanted to show that "it depends", which might help the learner to discover the nuances and thereby grow, yes?
    – Don
    Jan 20 at 17:43

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