Click here for Mobile
Improve Your English / Poboljsaj Znanje Engleskog
(in cooperation with BBC UK, Learning English - Learn it Program and Roger Woodham)

This week's question is :
This is the sentence I've seen so many times in my daily life: 'This is no good.' Is it grammatically correct to use no before the adjective 'good'?

... and the answer is :
 No is a determiner expressing quantity like 'all', 'every', 'many', 'some', 'any', 'each', 'either', 'one', 'another' and is used before singular and plural nouns. It is similar in meaning to 'not a' or 'not any' and is often our preferred choice if we want to give emphasis to what we are saying. Compare:

* 'I have no idea what he is referring to.' (more emphatic)
* 'I don't have any idea what he is referring to.' (less emphatic)
* 'No students from the secondary school in New Town achieved the highest grades in their end-of-year exam.' (more emphatic)
* 'There weren't any students from the secondary school in New Town who achieved the highest grades in their end-of-year exam.' (less emphatic)
* I'm sorry. I've got no time for that this afternoon.' (more emphatic)
* 'I'm sorry. I haven't any time for that this afternoon.' (less emphatic)

Not is used to make a clause or sentence negative and usually combines with the verb 'to be' and with adjectives, adverbs, noun groups or prepositional phrases. Very is often used after not to moderate the negative aspect of the clause. Thus, we have:

* 'It was not difficult to understand why she was in love with him.'
* 'It is not always true that people who are in love like the same things.'
* 'He swims well, but not very evenly.'
* 'It was not a huge meal, but enough for two people.'
* 'I know I'll probably fail my driving test, but I'm not in the least bit nervous about it.'

'Good' is probably unique as an adjective in that it can combine with no and any and also with not, although there are sometimes subtle distinctions in usage or meaning. Compare:

* 'Is the milk good?' 'No, it's not good.' (The discussion here is about how fresh the milk is and not for me would be the preferred negative)
* 'Was the play any good?' 'It was no good at all. The acting was poor and the direction was terrible.' (Here, no good in the answer reflects any good in the question.)
* 'It's no good. I can't see how we can repair this fence. We shall have to buy a new one. (Here, 'It's no good' could be replaced by 'It's no use'.)

Note that good, like use or point is often used with -ing:

* 'It's no good trying to apologise. You have really offended me.'
* 'It's no use complaining about the service in this hotel. It will never improve.'
* 'There was no point (in) carrying on with this. We decided to end the investigation.

Remember to use 'there's' with 'no point' and 'it's' with 'no good/no use'.

  • Emalis web design. Streamlined. Straightforward. Easily managed.
  • Stancom Construction is a full service, licensed construction company located in Southern California
LA Serbs Content
Los Angeles Links
To advertise on this site, please click here for the rates. If you would like a site like this one :: e-mail the webmaster v7.87, Initiated on February 7th, 2000. Copyright © 2000 through 2026. Use site responsibly. Read the Disclaimer.