Grammar Common Spelling Mistakes 2022-09-28 00:00

No vs Not: What's the Difference?

no vs not

The words no and not are often confused because they are easy to mistype. In this article, we explain the difference between them.

Not negates the meaning of the modified verb when used as an adverb.

No means "not any" when used as a determiner.

A good way to remember the difference is that not works with verbs and no works with nouns.

  1. The Difference Between No vs Not

The Difference Between No vs Not

Let's look at how to use the correct word when you're writing.

Not is usually used to modify verbs. It negates the meaning of a verb. If a verb did not occur, you will use not.

Sometimes not accompanies nouns, but it only works with nouns that have an article (a, an, the). It can also come before an adverb, such as not many.

Examples of not:

  • He didn't run quickly enough. (didn't = did not)
  • That's not the right bus.
  • There aren't many seats left. (aren't = are not)
  • I do not like playing the cello.

No is usually used to modify nouns. It precedes nouns that do not have an article. It can also precede an adjective that comes before a noun (e.g. no good reason). No also means the opposite of yes. Some synonyms of no are: none, nary, no, null.

Examples of no:

  • That's no excuse.
  • I have no imagination.
  • There are no chocolate bars.

Should I use "no matter how" or "not matter how"?

The right expression is "no matter how" – e.g. I couldn't run fast enough, no matter how hard I tried.

Is the correct expression "there can be no" or "there can be not"?

The correct expression is "there can be no" – e.g. There can be no excuse for rudeness to staff.

What's the correct phrase, "no doubt" or "not doubt"?

The right expression is "no doubt" – e.g. She had no doubt that they had tried their best.

Which is correct, "I do not know" or "I do no know"?

The right expression is "I do not know" – e.g. I don't know the answer to this question. (don't = do not)

Should it be "do not want to" or "do no want to"?

The correct phrase is "do not want to" – e.g. We do not want to pay such a high fee.

Is the expression "I do not think" or "I do no think"?

The correct phrase is "I do not think" – e.g. I do not think I am performing at my best.

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