Hey guys, it’s Shane from English Understood here.
A very common question I get all the time is ‘What’s the difference between “no” and “not”?’ And this is a really good question because ‘no’ and ‘not’ are really common words in English so it’s important you are using them correctly.
Let’s start with ‘no’ first. One of the first uses of ‘no’ is to answer a question, right? Do you like ice cream? No, I don’t. Do you like shopping? No, I don’t.
The second way we use ‘no’ is before a noun phrase with no article. So for example, we could say ‘No children allowed.’ No children allowed. Or we could say ‘There’s no way that we can do this.’ With ‘children’ and with ‘way’, there’s no article before them so we can use ‘no’.
Now, when we’re using ‘not’ one of the main uses of ‘not’ is to show the opposite of something.
For example, ‘I do like ice cream.’ I do not like ice cream. I do like shopping. I do not like shopping. We can also use ‘not’ with nouns that have articles and adjectives.
So for example, ‘I want the blue one, not the red one.’ Not the red one. Or we can say ‘He is not friendly.’ Friendly is an adjective, right? So we can use ‘not’ before friendly. He is not friendly.
So now you understand the basics of how to use ‘no’ and ‘not’. But just remember, these are very basic rules and there will always be exceptions to the rules.