Difference Between No and Not

No vs Not
 

Since No and Not are two words that are often confused in terms of their usage, one should pay more attention to the difference between no and not. Strictly speaking they are to be viewed as two words with different usages. Though no is mainly used as a determiner, it is also used as an exclamation, adverb as well as a noun. On the other hand, the primary use of not is adverb. Other than that there are instances where not is used as a noun and an adjective. No comes from Old English nō, nā while not comes from Old English as a contraction of the adverb nought.

What does Not mean?

The word not is generally used to make a sentence negative as in the following sentence.

He was not very happy.

Sometimes, the word not is used to make a part of a sentence negative as in the sentence.

The students went on strike but not the teachers.

Other than this, there are phrases in English language that use the word not. For example,

Not at all (“definitely not”)

“You don’t mind me tagging along?” “Not at all.”

Not a thing (“nothing at all”)

After the death of all his family members, he has not a thing to live for.

Not

What does No mean?

On the other hand, the determiner no when used with a noun would mean not any as in the sentence given below.

No leaders got arrested.

The sentence would only mean “Not any leader was arrested.”

Observe the two sentences given below:

No spectator left the stadium.

I was given no time to react.

In both the sentences given above, you get the idea of not a single or not any. In the first sentence, you get the idea that “Not a single spectator left the stadium.”  In the second sentence, you get the idea that “Not any time was given to me to react.”

It is interesting to note that as a determiner no is eligible to be used with another determiner as in the following sentence.

No target is impossible to achieve.

The sentence would only mean “Every target is possible to achieve.”

Sometimes the determiner no is used with a gerund as in the following expressions.

No Smoking.

No Parking.

Since no is a determiner, it has to be used before singular nouns and plural nouns as in the sentence,

No visitors came to the museum this summer.

In this sentence, the determiner no is used well before a plural noun, namely, visitors.

Observe the following sentence.

I have no time left.

In this sentence, the determiner no is used before an uncountable noun, namely, time.

Difference Between No and Not

What is the difference between No and Not?

• The word not is generally used to make a sentence negative.

• Sometimes, the word not is used to make a part of a sentence negative.

• On the other hand, the determiner no when used with a noun would mean not any.

• As a determiner no is eligible to be used with another determiner.

• Sometimes the determiner no is used with a gerund.

• Since no is a determiner, it has to be used before singular nouns and plural nouns.