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‘NOT’ and ‘NO’

24/08/16 The Use of ‘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 don’t have any Thursdays . . .)
  • I called, but there was no answer. (= There wasn’t an answer.)

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.

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