Using No

The word ‘no’ is one of the first words that all ESL students learn. It is used in a large number of expressions in English.

As you should already know, ‘no’ is used as an answer to a yes/no question. There are also several grammatical structures using the words ‘no’ and ‘none’. This makes ‘no’ far more important than ‘yes’. ‘Yes’ is only used as an answer to a ‘yes/no’ question.

I don’t enjoy my stay in this city. I have no friends here.

I had no money to buy food.

I no longer enjoy late night parties.

They are no longer on talking terms.

She has no interest in politics.

No one can solve my problems.

No and none

No is used directly before a noun. The noun can be singular or plural.

She has no friends.

I have no money.

We have no plans to move out.

Before a noun with a determiner (the, my, this etc.), we use none of.

None of my friends wished me on my birthday. (NOT No my friends wished …) (NOT None my friends …)

None of these shoes are good enough for me.

Before a pronoun, we use ‘none of’.

None of us can sing.

None of them had anything to say.

No one and none

Use no one with people to say that not a single person is interested or involved. No one is very similar to nobody.

No one is attending the conference. OR Nobody is attending the conference.

No one can solve this vexed problem. OR Nobody can solve this vexed problem.

After the death of his wife, no one cared about him.

As you can see, no one cannot be used with things. None can be used with ‘of’ with both people and things.

None of the clothes were clean.

None of us enjoy skiing.