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When reading a passage in VOA English, I found a sentence:

The process is no easy task.

It comes to me another sentence:

The process is not an easy task.

What's the difference between them?

  • They are 99% synonyms. – SovereignSun Apr 14 '17 at 7:43
  • According to the website Difference between no and not, I think the first sentence means: The process is not any easy task. "an" and "any" is the difference. – Jesse Apr 14 '17 at 9:57
  • This applies only to nouns. Like in: No task is easy. – SovereignSun Apr 14 '17 at 10:03
  • In dictionary, I found no can be a determine which means not one; not a; not any, so they are same. – Jesse Apr 14 '17 at 11:26
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No easy thing and no easy matter as Merriam-Webster states mean: something that is not easy to do or bear.

Dictionary.Com explains this definition as not a (used before an adjective to convey the opposite of the adjective's meaning)

  • His recovery was no small miracle.

No can also be followed by comparative adjectives and adverbs:

  • No fewer than forty men.
  • No more quickly than before.

According to this knowledge we can assume that "no easy task" equals "not an easy task".

  • According to the website Difference between no and not, I think the first sentence means: The process is not any easy task. "an" and "any" is the difference. – Jesse Apr 14 '17 at 10:02
  • In dictionary, I found no can be a determine which means not one; not a; not any, so they are same. – Jesse Apr 14 '17 at 11:26
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I am not an English native speaker.

I would just say that there's no difference in the meaning, that is: There's nothing simple in this process.

So, I agree with @SovereignSun. The sentences are the same and they could be intended as synonyms.

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