Can you clear my this confusion between "no" and "not"?


I have seen sentences like:

They ask for money no less than Rs 2,000.

He was looking weird? No weirder than usual.

I wonder should "not" had been in place of "no". Are they interchangeable?

Anubhav Singh

Posted 2016-09-06T15:24:28.020

Reputation: 3 391

See here:

– None – 2016-09-06T15:38:33.307

@user2684291 - Although that page says "no before a noun phrase; not everywhere else", and I'm not sure that "weirder than usual" is a noun phrase. – stangdon – 2016-09-06T15:46:44.790

1@stangdon: I don't think that observation in Cambridge Dictionary has any particular relevance to *comparatives* such as *He's not/no taller than me*. Offhand it seems to me the choice there is entirely a matter of syntactic / stylistic preference. In most cases, at least, but I'd be interested to see if anyone can come up with contexts for each form where the other one is either non-idiomatic or has a different meaning. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica – 2016-09-06T16:06:41.970

The first sentence is not grammatical. This is grammatical: They ask for no less than 2,000 rupees OR They ask for not less than 2,000 rupees. I wrote it out so you can see the noun rupees. – Lambie – 2016-09-06T17:07:57.913



Not is used to negate verbs.

I did not walk away.

He is not stupid.

Take whichever one is not broken.

I have not been walking recently.

Do not go there.

Also, not negates a verbal, entire noun phrase, or anyone/everyone if it's a subject of a sentence.

Not walking regularly has made me unhealthy.

Not that I really care but can you tell me why she left?

I decided not to go to the park.

Not just anyone will do this job for what I'm paying.

No is used elsewhere. So in "He was looking weird? No weirder than usual" you are right to use the no.


Posted 2016-09-06T15:24:28.020

Reputation: 31 841

Not weirder than usual. It sounds also correct to me. – Anubhav Singh – 2016-09-06T17:51:56.227

I think because "[It is || he looks ] not weirder than usual" is conversationally elided. Which may also apply to my "Not just anyone ..." example above. – LawrenceC – 2016-09-06T17:53:03.863