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Is the expression "no too bad" a valid expression in the following examples?

Let's suppose my daughter is gonna marry a guy who has some bad habits like smoking and drinking occasionally but no really bad habits like using drugs or gambling. Could I say:

He certainly is not the ideal husband for my daughter but at least he's got no too bad habits.

Another example would be the phrase:

I don't know about you, but I've got no too bad memories from the time we lived in South America.

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    It might make sense if you clarify that no modifies bad and not too - as in no too-bad memories, in the sense of no very bad memories. But it might still confuse people and be taken as slang at best. Mar 18 at 0:43
  • Hi, thanks for helping me with that. Is there any other way I can say that, I mean, how can I say that someone has some bad habits but no habits that are really bad, or to say that I have some bad memories from some place but again no memories that are too bad?
    – Itamar
    Mar 18 at 2:21
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    No habits/memories that are too bad. Mar 18 at 9:17
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As you are using it, the phrase no too bad almost sounds like an ironic negative and what you really mean is that you do have bad memories, or the husband does have bad habits.

You might instead use the phrase not so bad or not too bad, like so:

  • He certainly is not the ideal husband for my daughter, but his [bad] habits aren't too bad.
  • I don't know about you, but my memories from the time we lived in South America are not so bad.

You need to be careful here because there is a subtle difference between someone using "not so bad" to mean "bad, but not terrible" and using it to mean "good, but only slightly good." In spoken English the first meaning comes across if "so" is emphasized, while the second meaning comes across if "so" un-emphasized. If you ask someone how they are and they respond "Not so bad," it does not mean they are feeling poorly, only that they are not feeling wonderful. Conversely if they say "Not so great" that means they are doing worse than normal.

You can make your intention clearer by using the phrase is/are not terrible instead, but depending on how exactly this is said and the personality of the speaker this can sometimes fall into the same trap of actually meaning "marginally better than neutral" when you really want it to mean "marginally worse than neutral, but not as bad as it might be."

The best solution, if you want to be very clear about what you mean, is to say more:

  • He's not the ideal husband for my daughter but his habits aren't too bad.
  • I do have some bad memories from when we lived in South America, but they aren't as bad as yours.
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Q. Use of “no too bad”. Does it make sense?

  1. He certainly is not the ideal husband for my daughter but at least he's got no too bad habits.

  2. I don't know about you, but I've got no too bad memories from the time we lived in South America.


I would suggest No

With English being prevalent in some many locations is is hard for me to say that the following statement is correct everywhere, but

I believe you are mixing no too bad with the idioms not too bad and not so bad Which have slightly different meanings.


Answer 1.

He certainly is not the ideal husband for my daughter but at least he's got no too bad habits.

Should be

He's certainly not the ideal son-in-law, but at least his habits are *"not too bad".*


Answer 2.

I don't know about you, but I've got no too bad memories from the time we lived in South America.

I would write

I don't know about you? but my memories, from when we lived in South America, are "not so bad".


not too bad Fairly or mostly good; satisfactory. (Used primarily in conversation.)

not so bad OK; fine. Usually said when something exceeds low expectations.


Ref The Free Dictionary- Idioms Not too bad; Not so bad

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  • Thanks a million randomhead and Brad for such detailed and helpful answers. I think I completely understood all the explanations, but maybe what I didn't make clear since the beginning is that I really wanted to make it clear in the phrases that even there were some bad things about someone or something, none of the things were really too bad. Here's another example: how many bad dreams have you had this year? I have had some of them. And how many of those dreams were too bad? Answer: Oh, fortunatelly I have had no too bad dreams (in this case meaning: too bad dreams? I have had no one). Tx.
    – Itamar
    Mar 18 at 3:28
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    @Itamar in that case you could say "None of them were too bad." The question is more likely to be "How many were very bad?" rather than "How many were too bad?"
    – randomhead
    Mar 18 at 4:04

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