I've seen 4 similar expressions a lot of times, though I don't really understand the difference among them.

"he has no money", "he doesn't have money", "he doesn't have any money", "doesn't have enough money"

I googled part of it and got some low quality hits. And then I search it on Google Ngram

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Which means is much more commonly used than others. When to use which, Could someone please give a hint? Thanks in advance.

  • Just do the same as the vast majority of indexed writers in Google Books - stick with He has no money. There's no particular reason to go looking for obscure contexts where someone might claim that one of those alternative phrasings is somehow "better". It's not likely there's some different new real-world meaning that never existed until a few decades ago, so we obviously got along fine with just the standard phrasing for centuries without needing different ways of expressing the same thing. Apr 1, 2020 at 15:44
  • Thank you. I agree with you, partly. From the aspect of using language as a communication tool, you are right. Speaker would use expressions that are easier to understand. On the other hand, some of learners, such as me, need to prepare for some kind of examinations. Some of English examinations tend to encourage leaners use some idiomatic expressions that is less commonly used to show their vocabulary, grammar, etc.
    – WXJ96163
    Apr 1, 2020 at 23:54
  • Like a lot of your questions, it's a matter of person choice, or sometimes one just sounds better (in the writer's opinion) at the time.
    – CJ Dennis
    Apr 2, 2020 at 2:07
  • These all have strongly overlapping meanings with different overtones and emphasis. The differences will come out in the context.
    – Dan
    Jan 11, 2022 at 0:04

1 Answer 1


Read them out loud to yourself. Or even in your mind.

Each evokes and inspires a different situation. Some are more direct. Others more subtle and calm. It's all about the context. And what I mean by context is the situation and circumstance before and after. What message is it you intend to send.

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