From Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary.

No I didn't read your e-mail. I'm no snoop.

Can I say:

No I didn't read your e-mail. I'm not a snoop.

If I can, what's the differences between them?

2 Answers 2


In your example, they are the same. But the "no" is more general.

I have no water (OK) ... I have not a water (bad)

I have no bananas (OK) .... I have not a banana (perhaps) ... I have not a single banana (OK)

I have no idea (OK) .... I have not an idea (perhaps)

  • I have not any idea -> I haven't any idea (OK)
    – Jim
    Dec 7, 2017 at 23:02

'No' is a determiner that quantifies a noun (zero snoops).

'Not' is an adverb that negates the verb.

The two are equivalent because if you are in a set that contains no snoops then you must be outside the set of all snoops.

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