Results 1 to 4 of 4
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Egypt

    • Join Date: Jun 2014
    • Posts: 17
    #1

    Using the indefinite article after no and not

    I was wondering if someone could help explain why we don't use the indefinite article in this sentence (There is no couch in the living room) but we do use it in this sentence (There isn't a couch in the living room)?
    Now I know it has something to do with no vs. not but I can't figure out how to explain to people why there is a difference.
    Also, when I think about it, it seems like we almost never use 'a' after no but we do after no... but again, I just came seem to come up with a rule to explain it?
    Thanks kindly....

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 6,332
    #2

    Re: Using the indefinite article after no and not

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, D.C. Foster:

    One expert has a very simple "rule": no + noun. In other words, never use an article between "no" and its noun:

    "There is no sofa in the living room."

    That expert reminds us that verb + not CAN use an article:

    "There is not a sofa in the living room."

    *****

    That expert tells us that the no + noun construction (kind of sentence) is more EMPHATIC:

    (My dialogue)

    James: May I borrow your car for the weekend?
    Mona: I am sorry, but I do not have a car.
    James: I do not believe you. I saw you driving a Honda yesterday.
    Mona: That was not my car.
    James: Are you sure?
    Mona: Listen, James. I have no car!



    James


    That expert is Michael Swan in his Practical English Usage.


    P.S. If you are looking for a more in-depth answer, you should remember that "not" is an adverb and that "no" is an adjective (in traditional grammar terms).
    Last edited by TheParser; 28-Oct-2014 at 22:04. Reason: spacing

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Egypt

    • Join Date: Jun 2014
    • Posts: 17
    #3

    Re: Using the indefinite article after no and not

    James, I'm new to this site and this was post (and I'm also new in regards to english teaching and grammar as well!)... so thank you so being so gracious and giving me a great answer for what was probably a simple question!

    Sincerely,

    Dave

    PS- And by the way... I love knowing that 'not' is an adverb and "no" is an adjective! So thanks for adding that as well.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 41,849
    #4

    Re: Using the indefinite article after no and not

    Quote Originally Posted by D.C. Foster View Post
    James, I'm new to this site and this was my first post (and I'm also new in with regards to English teaching and grammar as well!) (no ellipsis here) so thank you so for being so gracious and giving me a great answer for what was probably a simple question!

    Sincerely, Unnecessary

    Dave

    PS- And by the way, I love knowing that "not" is an adverb and "no" is an adjective! So thanks for adding that as well.
    D.C. Foster, please see my amendments above. I realise that you are a native speaker but it's important to realise that, on this forum, English learners will assume that everything a native speaker (and more importantly, an English teacher) writes is absolutely correct. With that in mind, it's important to check your own posts really carefully before you post them so that you can avoid the kind of basic mistakes and typos that appeared in your post.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

Similar Threads

  1. Indefinite Article
    By Allen165 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 27-Jan-2012, 15:16
  2. indefinite article
    By ekaterinnka in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 20-Mar-2009, 15:11
  3. The indefinite article
    By Mister Nutty in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-Nov-2008, 23:12
  4. indefinite article
    By Lenka in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 16-May-2007, 19:20
  5. The use of the indefinite article
    By Emanuelli in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-Nov-2004, 19:13

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •