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Thread poster: Andrea Macarie
"no" vs. "not"

Andrea Macarie  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:00
Spanish to Romanian
+ ...
Apr 3, 2006

It´s probably a stupid question, but can somebody tell me the difference in the use of "no" and "not"?
Thanks a lot.


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 23:00
German to English
no vs. not Apr 3, 2006

Hi Andrea -

Here's what Michael Swan has to say on the subject:

not and no

To make a word, expression or clause negative, we use 'not'.
Not surprisingly, we missed the train. (NOT ... 'no' surprisingly)

The students went on strike, but not the teachers.
(NOT ... but no the teachers)

I can see you tomorrow, but not on Thursday.
I have not received his answer.

We can use 'no' with a noun or -ing form to mean 'not any', or 'not a/an'.

No teachers went on strike. (=There weren't any teachers on strike.)

I've got no Thursdays free this term. (=I haven't got any Thursdays ...)

I telephoned, but there was no answer. (=There wasn't an answer.)

NO SMOKING.

Sometimes sentences constructed with verb + not and no + noun have similar meanings. The structure with 'no' is usually more emphatic.
There wasn't an answer. / There was no answer.

Michael Swan, Practical English Usage


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:00
Spanish to English
+ ...
first reaction Apr 3, 2006

NO goes with nouns

NOT goes with verbs



I have NO time

I have NOT got any time / He is NOT handsome / She does NOT run quickly




Could you expand more on your Q? It might lead to other ideas....


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Andrea Macarie  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:00
Spanish to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks a lot Apr 3, 2006

Your answers are very helpful, thanks. I know where I should put NO and NOT, the problem is that I have to explain it to my students
...you know, I´ve always focused on practice rather than on the theoretic aspects of language.

Thanks again.


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:00
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Scots wha hae... Apr 3, 2006

If ye write in Scottish dialect, ye'll no need tae worry whether it's no or no, it's always no!

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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 23:00
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
"Practical English Usage" Apr 3, 2006

Let me recommend the book by Michael Swan that Kim quoted from. It is incredibly comprehensive; it would be hard to think of a question that English learners might ask that is not treated in this book.

It is also clearly written, with easy-to-understand, realistic, practical examples. If you invest in this book, you will not be sorry. I have no commercial interest in Practical English Usage; I am only a satisfied user of the book. And I'm not even an English teacher! Nevertheless, I occasionally get asked questions about English and this book has never yet failed to provide the answer.


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Clare Barnes  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 06:00
Swedish to English
+ ...
Another Swan... Apr 4, 2006

Another book that has a useful explanation of this is "How English Works" by Michael Swan and Catherine Walter. I've used this a lot with students and have only good things to say about it. (ISBN: 0194314561 - for the one with answers).

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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:00
Spanish to English
+ ...
theory / practice Apr 4, 2006


Andrea Macarie wrote:

Your answers are very helpful, thanks. I know where I should put NO and NOT, the problem is that I have to explain it to my students
...you know, I´ve always focused on practice rather than on the theoretic aspects of language.

Thanks again.


Surely Kim's explanation is as simple as you need. It's hard to see how your students can get practice by you asking for an explanation on an online forum, which is what you have done ... and note that I asked for a better explanation of why:-)

So if you could explain a bit better what it is you are getting at, if not the theory of NO and NOT (albeit as simple as NO for nouns and NOT for verbs), then maybe we can help:-)


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Noor el Eman
Local time: 06:00
Arabic to English
+ ...
No vs Not Aug 10, 2011

* No answers a yes/no question.

"No, the president wasn't surprised by the results of the election."

* No precedes a noun that has no article.

The company had no worthy rivals in the industry.

* No can be used before a noun that is preceded by an adjective, as in the preceding example, but it is not used before any, much, many, or enough.

Jim has no argument with which to continue the discussion.

The manager had no reason to support his request for a raise.

Not

* Not precedes a noun that has an article.

The virus is not the source of the outbreak.

* Not precedes any, much, many, or enough.

Not many amateur astronomers can afford the equipment necessary to study the nova.

There is not much budget left for another trial.

* Not makes a verb negative.

They do not want to proceed with the experimental study.


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"no" vs. "not"






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