The following excerpt is the definition of ‘no’


not any

But, here’s a problem. Can ‘not’ modify determiner ‘any’? If not, does ‘any’ modify a noun, and ‘not’ modify a verb (that is, there are two different modifiers)?

1 Answer 1


Not is a word that negates another word or group of words. Dictionaries classify it as an adverb, which is called a catch-all category.

Wikipedia 'adverb'

Modern linguists note that the term "adverb" has come to be used as a kind of "catch-all" category, used to classify words with various types of syntactic behavior, not necessarily having much in common except that they do not fit into any of the other available categories (noun, adjective, preposition, etc.)

Note that the phrase "not any" can be the answer to a question, but it implies some other words, for example, There are not any candies in the jar.

You could argue about whether the word not modifies any or are, or the whole sentence.

It can also modify some other words containing any:

any: not any (equivalent to none)

anywhere: not anywhere (equivalent to nowhere)

anything: not anything (equivalent to nothing)

You can be sure that "not any" is a valid expression in English.

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