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  1. #21
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    Lightbulb Re: I'm no taller than John?

    ♥♦♣♠ NOT A TEACHER ♥♦♣♠
    With my knowledge primarily based on the sources I am in possession of, all I can say on the topic is that no in place of not is stronger, as is the case in many other similar kinds of sentences with no in place of not a/an/any.

  2. #22
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    Default Re: I'm no taller than John?

    Quote Originally Posted by engee30 View Post
    With my knowledge primarily based on the sources I am in possession of, all I can say on the topic is that no in place of not is stronger, as is the case in many other similar kinds of sentences with no in place of not a/an/any.
    It would be helpful to know what the sources are.

  3. #23
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    Default Re: I'm no taller than John?

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    It would be helpful to know what the sources are.
    Collins COBUILD & OALD, to name just a few.

  4. #24
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    Default Re: I'm no taller than John?

    Perhaps I am being less than competent this evening, engee, but my quick look through OALD, Collins Cobuild English Grammar and Collins Cobuild English Usage turned up no reference to 'no' being stronger than 'not'. Could you give page references, please?

  5. #25
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    Default Re: I'm no taller than John?

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    Perhaps I am being less than competent this evening, engee, but my quick look through OALD, Collins Cobuild English Grammar and Collins Cobuild English Usage turned up no reference to 'no' being stronger than 'not'. Could you give page references, please?
    No worries, fivejedjon, everything's fine with you this evening. I'm sure that you've now found notes like 'no is used in front of comparative adjectives instead of not' or 'no - used before adjectives and adverbs to mean not'. As for the statement saying that no is stronger than not in cases such as those, I can't seem to remember the name of the source - I wouldn't be writing anything just like that, would I.

  6. #26
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    Default Re: I'm no taller than John?

    Quote Originally Posted by engee30 View Post
    No worries, fivejedjon, everything's fine with you this evening. I'm sure that you've now found notes like 'no is used in front of comparative adjectives instead of not' or 'no - used before adjectives and adverbs to mean not'.As for the statement saying that no is stronger than not in cases such as those, I can't seem to remember the name of the source - I wouldn't be writing anything just like that, would I.
    You appear to be saying that you now do not remember the source of a statement that you originally claimed came from two respected sources. Please don't do that again, engee. I would imagine that most readers of this forum believe that those of us who answer are honest.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: I'm no taller than John?

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    [...] a statement that you originally claimed came from two respected sources [...].
    I said, to name just a few.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: I'm no taller than John?

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    I think several points are being slightly overlooked:

    1. I am not saying that a comparative form with no always and only means a simple negation of the comparative in the sense of no ...er than = as ...as. I am simply saying that it can imply this.

    2. I am not saying that a comparative form in a negative utterance with not always and only implies an opposite comparative form, merely that it can.

    3. English is a language. Languages do not always follow the rules of formal logic,

    4. There are clearly situations in which there is a difference between no-negation and not-negation. I gave an example of this in post #6.

    Having established a difference between no and not- negation with a noun, we can consider whether it is possible with a comparative structure.

    1. Prague isnít more beautiful than Paris.
    2. Prague is no more beautiful than Paris.

    In 1#, the (contracted) not negates the verb, and therefore the whole assertion. In #2, it is not clear whether no is to be read as referring to more alone, or to more beautiful. Both readings appear to be possible. In the case of the former, definitely, and the latter, perhaps, then it seems to me that there is an implication that Prague is as beautiful as Paris. It appears to be impossible to Ďproveí this. All I can say is that in my own usage, and in that of others that I have encountered, this appears to be possible. I feel that #4 below is less likely to be heard than #3.

    3. Prague isnít more beautiful than Paris; in fact itís rather an ugly city outside the Old Town.
    4. ?Prague is no more beautiful than Paris; in fact itís rather an ugly city outside the Old Town.

    The situation with comparatives formed with Ėer is not so striking, but I feel that #6 is less likely to be heard than #5

    5. Iím not taller than John; in fact, I am quite a bit shorter.
    6. ?Iím no taller than John; in fact, I am quite a bit shorter.
    Just one last question!
    Something still unclear to me is (I might have misunderstood) that if "no more" or "no taller"'s no is a simple negation of the comparative, then when you negate something, it usually contains the other parts except the negated part, so the definition is somewhat confusing.

    I mean no taller may mean the other parts excepts taller -> equal or shorter. I know you also said in the sense of as~as, but negation and as~as are contradicting each other.

    I think that's why my grammar book says it has zero meaning, which is similar to my opinion "there is no fact from this". I think "no taller than John" means "from John's status I have nothing liker being taller", so no is not negation but the absence of something from the compared object.

  9. #29
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    Default Re: I'm no taller than John?

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    Having established a difference between no and not- negation with a noun, we can consider whether it is possible with a comparative structure.

    1. Prague isnít more beautiful than Paris.
    2. Prague is no more beautiful than Paris.

    In 1#, the (contracted) not negates the verb, and therefore the whole assertion. In #2, it is not clear whether no is to be read as referring to more alone, or to more beautiful. Both readings appear to be possible. In the case of the former, definitely, and the latter, perhaps, then it seems to me that there is an implication that Prague is as beautiful as Paris. It appears to be impossible to Ďproveí this. All I can say is that in my own usage, and in that of others that I have encountered, this appears to be possible. I feel that #4 below is less likely to be heard than #3.

    3. Prague isnít more beautiful than Paris; in fact itís rather an ugly city outside the Old Town.
    4. ?Prague is no more beautiful than Paris; in fact itís rather an ugly city outside the Old Town.
    Main difference for me is that 1. simply says that Prague is not as beautiful as Paris, regardless of how beautiful Paris is.

    I read 2. as having (a strongly stressed) implication (that 1. lacks) that Paris is not beautiful. So there is an equation of how beautiful Prague and Paris are:
    Prague is no more beautiful than Paris = Prague is as (not beautiful) as Paris.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: I'm no taller than John?

    Quote Originally Posted by freezeframe View Post
    Main difference for me is that 1. simply says that Prague is not as beautiful as Paris, regardless of how beautiful Paris is.

    I read 2. as having (a strongly stressed) implication (that 1. lacks) that Paris is not beautiful. So there is an equation of how beautiful Prague and Paris are:
    Prague is no more beautiful than Paris = Prague is as (not beautiful) as Paris.
    I see that point with your original "he is no more intelligent than Heather" -- Heather is not intelligent", and I see the possibility of that reading with my #2. Your reading, "Prague is as (not beautiful) as Paris", does at least imply equality.

    I see two problems in addition to the four I have already noted (which probably means that it's time to stop ):

    1. I think that we are talking about feeling here, rather than anything that can be settled by resort to 'rules of grammar'.

    2. If we are talking about feeling, then, apart from Philo, whose reliance on formal logic does not, in my opinion, help when we are talking about a living language, I am the only native speaker taking part in this discussion. It would be useful to see what other native speakers feel.

    That penultimate sentence is not intended as any negative reflection on the opinions expressed by you and BC, both of whom have shown in this forum an understanding of English grammar superior to that of many native speakers.

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