1

What is the difference between "there is no" and "there is not" (the same question for "there are no" and "there are not"?

For example:

There is no an apple on the table.

versus

There is not an apple on the table.

  • 1
    The first example is just wrong (the no an part). – user3169 Mar 27 '18 at 5:01
  • Thank you. I really didn't know that. What is the reason that "no" 'cancels' the article? – Judicious Allure Mar 27 '18 at 18:18
  • It is not definite. It is not indefinite. Because it (the apple) doesn't exist. – user3169 Mar 28 '18 at 5:56
2

Your first example would be correct if you omit an.

If someone asked you to remove the apple lying on the table, you might reply:

There is no apple on the table.

strongly emphasizing the absence of the apple

or, using your second example:

There is not an apple on the table.

In practice, people would nearly always abbreviate that to:

There isn't an apple on the table.

There is no is frequently used for universal statements, such as:

There is no hope; there is no way; there is no chance/possibility

There is not, frequently abbreviated to there isn't

is generally used to make a simple negative statement or to deny a positive one.

There isn't a bus until midday.

However, in many instances, you can use either construction.

  • Thank you. I really didn't know that. What is the reason that "no" 'cancels' the article? – Judicious Allure Mar 27 '18 at 18:18
  • @Archimedean_Point No used in this fashion is a way of saying not any. So to say:*There is no hope* is to say: There is not any hope. The article would not fit into such a construction. – Ronald Sole Mar 28 '18 at 0:00

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