I'm a fan of the BBC learning English website. This is the sentence
I've learned from school: 'This is not good.' This is the sentence
I've seen so many times in my daily life: 'This is no good.'
Is it grammatically correct to use no before the adjective
Nepomuceno from Brazil also wrote in asking when to use
not and when to use no.
is a determiner expressing quantity like 'all', 'every', 'many', 'some',
'any', 'each', 'either', 'one', 'another' and is used before singular
and plural nouns. It is similar in meaning to 'not a' or 'not any'
and is often our preferred choice if we want to give emphasis to what
we are saying. Compare:
'I have no idea what he is referring to.' (more emphatic)
'I don't have any idea what he is referring to.' (less
'No students from the secondary school in New Town achieved
the highest grades in their end-of-year exam.' (more emphatic)
'There weren't any students from the secondary school
in New Town who achieved the highest grades in their end-of-year
exam.' (less emphatic)
I'm sorry. I've got no time for that this afternoon.'
'I'm sorry. I haven't any time for that this afternoon.'
is used to make a clause or sentence negative and usually combines
with the verb 'to be' and with adjectives, adverbs, noun groups or
prepositional phrases. Very is often used after not
to moderate the negative aspect of the clause. Thus, we have:
'It was not difficult to understand why she was in love
'It is not always true that people who are in love like
the same things.'
'He swims well, but not very evenly.'
'It was not a huge meal, but enough for two people.'
'I know I'll probably fail my driving test, but I'm not
in the least bit nervous about it.'
is probably unique as an adjective in that it can combine with no
and any and also with not, although there are sometimes
subtle distinctions in usage or meaning. Compare:
'Is the milk good?' 'No, it's not good.' (The
discussion here is about how fresh the milk is and not
for me would be the preferred negative)
'Was the play any good?' 'It was no good at all. The
acting was poor and the direction was terrible.' (Here, no
good in the answer reflects any good in the question.)
'It's no good. I can't see how we can repair this fence.
We shall have to buy a new one. (Here, 'It's no good' could be
replaced by 'It's no use'.)
that good, like use or point is often used with
'It's no good trying to apologise. You have really offended
'It's no use complaining about the service in this hotel.
It will never improve.'
'There was no point (in) carrying on with this. We decided
to end the investigation.
Remember to use 'there's' with 'no point'
and 'it's' with 'no good/no use'.