How To Use NEITHER | NO | NOT | NOR In English Grammar (With Examples)

Lesson summary

In this English lesson you will learn how to use 'no', 'not', 'neither' and 'nor' in English grammar (with examples).

What is up guys? My name is Shane. Today we are looking at the basic rules for how to use ‘no’, ‘not’, ‘nor’ and ‘neither’. The good news is that these words are very easy to use once you understand the rules. So get out your notebooks and let’s get started.

 

Pronunciation

The first thing we need to do today is talk about the pronunciation. This word can be pronounced in two different ways. We can say ‘neither’ or ‘neither’. Neither. Neither. Neither. Neither. Which way is correct? Well both ways are correct and are commonly used. For me, I prefer to say ‘neither’. Now let’s pronounce these words. No. Not. Nor. No. Not. Nor. Easy, right?

 

How To Use ‘No’ And ‘Not

In this section we are going to talk about the difference between ‘no’ and ‘not’ and when to use ‘no’ and when to use ‘not’. Let’s talk about ‘no’ first. The most common use of ‘no’ is to answer a question. Do you like learning English grammar? No! Okay. Okay. I’m just asking. Do you like cleaning the house? No I think that cleaning is very boring.

 

Have you cleaned your room yet, son? Yes I have. It’s super clean. Good job! Look dad! There is no dust in this room.

 

The second rule for using ‘no’ is that you can use ‘no’ before a noun which does not have an article. There is no dust in this room. This means there is zero dust. If there is no something, that means there is zero of that thing.

 

Now look at this person here. This person has zero dollars. We can say ‘This person has no money.’

 

Don’t say ‘This person does not have no money.’ This is incorrect because we are saying ‘This person does not have zero dollars.’ We need to say ‘This person has no money.’

 

Sometimes I get a sandwich for lunch. I think I’ll get one today. Hm. Oh no! There are no small sandwiches. I don’t like the big sandwiches. ‘There are no small sandwiches’ means there are zero small sandwiches.

 

Rule number three for using ‘no’. Use ‘no’ before an adjective which has a noun but which does not have an article. ‘A’, ‘an’ or ‘the’. Another example. No children like to stay at home on the weekend. They like to go swimming.

 

Hey! No running in the pool area! No running! The fourth rule for using ‘no’ is that you can use ‘no’ before a gerund. A gerund is an ING verb which is used as a noun. Some common examples are ‘eating’, ‘swimming’ and ‘running’.

 

‘No running’ means that running is not okay. It’s not allowed. Another common example that you might hear a lot is ‘No smoking.’ No smoking. This means smoking is not allowed. Hey! I said no smoking! No smoking inside! No! No smoking! Sorry about that. I just don’t like people smoking inside. Okay now let’s talk about ‘not’.

 

The first rule of using ‘not’ is that we can use ‘not’ to make a verb negative. Making something negative doesn’t mean that it is a bad thing. Making something negative can mean that you’re making it the opposite. For example, ‘I like soccer.’ This is a positive sentence. I do not like soccer. This is a negative sentence.

 

Another example. She does not want to go to school today. Where’s the teacher? He said he would be early to class to help me with my homework. He is not early! He is late!

 

Rule number two for using ‘not’. Use ‘not’ before an adjective which does not have a noun. He is not early. ‘Early’ is an adjective and it doesn’t have a noun so we use ‘not’ here. We don’t use ‘no’.

 

Hey everyone. This is my friend, John. He had an accident a few weeks ago. Hey John, how are you feeling today? I am not well today. My leg is still really sore. Again, ‘well’ is an adjective and it doesn’t have a noun so we use ‘not’.

 

Hey did you pick all of your vegetables yesterday? I did but it took a lot of work. I had a lot of help. Who helped you? Not my kids! They were too busy sleeping!

 

The third rule for using ‘not’ is that we use ‘not’ before a noun which has an article or a determiner. A determiner is a word like ‘this’, ‘that’, ‘my’ or ‘your’. Not the kids. ‘Kids’ is a noun with an article so we use ‘not’ in this situation.

 

Another example. There is not a cow in this room. I am 100% sure! Never mind. I was wrong. It must have come from that farm.

 

Mini Review

Okay we are halfway there but before we continue, let’s have a quick mini review. Look at the basic rules for using ‘no’ and ‘not’ again and then we will continue with the lesson.

 

How To Use ‘Neither’ And ‘Nor’

Alright. In this section we are going to talk about ‘neither’ and ‘nor’. Before we get started on ‘neither’, I want you to really understand the feeling of the word ‘neither’. Which shirt do you like? Neither!

 

The first thing about ‘neither’ is that ‘neither’ is always talking about two things. The second thing about ‘neither’ is that ‘neither’ means nothing. ‘Neither’ means zero. So if I say ‘neither’, it means I don’t like this shirt and I don’t like that shirt.

 

This is the first use of ‘neither’. You can use it to answer a question. Are you a tea or a coffee person? Neither!

 

Hey how are your drinks? Pretty bad! What do you mean? Which do you like better? Neither drink is very nice. I think I’ll go order something else.

 

The second use of ‘neither’ is before a singular countable noun. Neither drink is very nice. This means not one of the drinks is very nice. I went shopping yesterday. I tried on this shirt. I tried on that shirt. Neither shirt was a good fit for me.

 

Now the third rule of using ‘neither’ is that you need to say ‘neither of’ if the subject has a pronoun or if the subject is a plural countable noun. Neither of us went to the concert. ‘Us’ is a pronoun so we need to say ‘neither of’.

 

Another example. Neither of the outfits that we are wearing are suitable for the concert. ‘Outfits’ is a plural countable noun so that means we need to say ‘neither of’.

 

Don’t say ‘Neither the outfits are suitable.’ It’s very important that you use ‘of’ when the subject is plural. Neither of the outfits are suitable. Yes.

 

Alright now let’s talk about ‘nor’ but first let’s talk about using ‘nor’ with ‘neither’. A very common sentence structure in English is ‘neither … nor ..’ We use this sentence structure when we want to talk about two or more things that are negative.

 

Let’s pretend I want to buy a new phone. These are my options. I can buy a big phone. I can buy a small phone. Neither the big phone nor the small phone is suitable for me. I want something in the middle.

 

Oh good! Here are some new phones that are the right size for me. There is a pink phone. There is a green phone. Neither green nor pink is a colour that I really like. We are talking about two negative possibilities. We are talking about two things that I don’t want.

 

Hey have you seen Fred yet? No I have not seen Fred nor have I seen his girlfriend.

 

Alright now let’s talk about using ‘nor’ by itself. The main use of ‘nor’ is using ‘nor’ with other negatives. I have not seen Fred. This is a negative. I have not seen his girlfriend. This is also a negative. So we can join those two sentences together. I have not seen Fred nor have I seen his girlfriend.

 

Now when you’re using ‘nor’, normally you will be joining two or more clauses. But when you’re using ‘neither … nor …’, normally you’re joining a noun and another noun or an adjective and another adjective.

 

Okay another example. I think learning English is not hard and it’s not boring. I think learning English is not hard nor is it boring.

 

IMPORTANT – MUST READ

If you just remember one thing from today’s lesson, remember that when you’re using ‘neither’ or ‘nor’, you need two negative things.

 

Final revision

Wow! That was a lot of information! So let’s have a final revision. Have a look at the summary of the basic rules for using ‘no’, ‘not’, ‘neither’ and ‘nor’ and then I have a challenge for you.

 

Challenge

The challenge today is write four sentences in the comments. One sentence with the word ‘no’. One with ‘not’. One with ‘nor’ and one with ‘neither’. I can’t wait to read your sentences and I will see you in the next video. Oh my god he’s still here! Go! Come on! Go! Shoo! Shoo! Shoo! Shoo! Shoo! Shoo!

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