Unit 8.2

No vs Not


No and not convey a negative meaning for clauses, words and expressions.


No and not have different position in the sentence.


No is used before nouns without articles and with -ing form to mean “not any”.


Not is used before nouns (with articles), adverbs, adjectives and verb. It appears also before the words any, enough, many, much.



  • Could you please give me some hydrogen peroxide? No way, it is dangerous for children.
  • Would you like to come with me to the party tonight? No, I don’t want to. 
  • There is no thermometer in the bathroom
  • You have got no emails.


  • I’m a dentist, not a psychologist.
  • The professor is not explaining the lesson.
  • The meaning is not clear.
  • There are not any words to describe you.
  • There is not enough alcohol for everyone.
  • Not many people can afford private health service.
  • There is not much time left. 


We use no and not for stating that someone/something is absent or negative. They have slightly difference in meaning.

  • We use no in yes/no questions and to give more emphasis to the sentence;
  • We use not for the negative form of sentences and to give less emphasis to a sentence.



No and not are both used to obtain the negative meaning of clauses, words and expressions.

We find:

  • no before nouns without articles and with -ing form to express “not any”;
  • not before nouns (with articles), adverbs, adjectives and verbs.
    It also appears before the words any, enough, many or much.

For example:
“There is no cake left.” = No can be used with nouns but without an article.
“There is not anyone in the office.” = Not can be used with adjectives.

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.


External link to No vs Not exercises (180).