Difference between no and not

August 14, 2012pdf

We can make a word, expression or clause negative by putting not before it.

  • I do not intend to resign.
  • Ask James, not his wife.
  • Not surprisingly, they got divorced within a couple of months.
  • You can come tomorrow, but not on Friday.

No is used in a different way. It is used with a noun or an –ing form to mean ‘not any’.

  • No students joined the program. (= There weren’t any students who joined the program.)
  • No man is perfect. (= There aren’t any perfect men.)
  • She has got no children. (= She hasn’t got any children.)
  • I have got no money to buy food. (= I haven’t got any money to buy food.)

In some cases the structures verb + not and no + noun can have similar meanings.

  • There wasn’t any reply. = There was no reply.

Exercise

Complete the following sentences not or no.

1. We have ………………………….. money. (no / not)

2. It is ……………………………. true. (not / no)

3. He is ……………………………. stupid. (no / not)

4. Now you see me, now you do ……………………………. (not / no)

5. She has got ………………………. friends. (not / no)

6. She has ………………………….. got any money. (not / no)

Answers

1. We have no money.

2. It is not true.

3. He is no stupid.

4. Now you see me, now you do not.

5. She has got no friends.

6. She has not got any money.

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