no and not a/ not any

1. No is a determiner. We use no before singular (countable and uncountable) nouns and plural nouns.
No means the same as not a or not any, but we use no:

(a) at the beginning of a sentence
(b) when we want to make the negative idea emphatic.


  • No cigarette is completely harmless. (NOT Not any cigarette…)
  • No beer? How do you expect me to sing without beer?
  • No tourists ever come to out village.


  • I can’t get there. There’s no bus. (More emphatic than There isn’t a bus)
  • Sorry I can’t stop. I’ve got no time.
  • There were no letters for you this morning, I’m afraid.

2. Nobody, nothing, no-one and nowhere are used in similar ways to no.


  • Nobody came. (NOT Not anybody came)
  • I saw nobody (More emphatic than I didn’t see anybody)

3. We only use no immediately before a noun. In other cases we use none (of).