Posted by: Idioma Extra | October 19, 2011

Thursday Tidbit– Not vs No

Thursday Tidbits – Not vs. No

Not vs. No

Many English learners have trouble knowing when to use not and when to use no, or if you can use both.

Not is used to make a word clause or phrase negative.

No is used to with a noun or gerund (verb+ing) to mean not a/an or not any

Some Examples:

There are no happy police officers.

“Police officers” is a noun.

There are not any happy police officers.

Here, not any can replace no.

I do not run on rainy days.

Not is used to negate the verb.

 Not walking in the road is a good idea.

Not is used to negate the entire phrase.

Check yourself

Choose no or not in the following sentences.

  1. (No/Not) hamburgers at McDonald’s have ham.
  2. (No/Not) driving above the speed limit is safer.
  3. The boy preferred (no/not) to take out the trash.
  4.  (No/Not) a person in the room disliked dogs.
  5. The last Olympics were (no/not) in Costa Rica.
  6. (N0/Not) country is more populated than China.
  7. The painters did (no/not) paint my house in time.
  8. There were (no/not) any angry people at the fair.
  9. The timing was (no/not) good.
  10. Apples were (no/not) Billy’s favorite food.

 Answers to last week’s Check Yourself

  1. She has never paid her bills late. (Or) She hasn’t paid her bills late.
  2. He is nice to nobody. (Or) He isn’t nice to anybody.
  3. The company has had no problems in years. (Or) The company hasn’t had problems in years.
  4. He isn’t happy because no one likes him. (Correct because they are two separate clauses separated by ‘because’.
  5. The airplane has never had wings. (Or) The airplane has had no wings.
  6. The dogs in the street never bite anybody. (Or) The dogs in the street bite nobody.

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