I've been listening to an American podcast that the speaker said:

I feel like somehow the Jan.6 Capital riot doesn't make any sense to me or maybe even better say makes no sense to me!

And after that she said to her guest that:

as you know these two phrase are different with eachother.

What's the difference between these too sentences while they both have the same meaning for me as a learner, what makes them different for a native speaker?

  • 1
    They are equivalent. My pocket contains no money. My pocket does not contain any money. Commented Feb 19, 2022 at 16:10
  • @MichaelHarvey I thought so but the second sentence of the speaker confused me.
    – user141755
    Commented Feb 19, 2022 at 16:14
  • 2
    I doubt anyone here can really "explain" why your cited speaker said ...or maybe even better... Presumably at least he felt that the shorter form makes no sense was somehow more "emphatic". I'm guessing he found the capital riots completely "senseless", and he thought the shorter version conveyed that better. But of course, he's mistaken in thinking that. Both versions can be given added "oomph" with, for example, ...doesn't make any sense at all and ...makes absolutely no sense. But as they stand, no such distinction exists. Commented Feb 19, 2022 at 16:27

2 Answers 2


There is very little difference in meaning between 'makes no sense' and 'doesn't make any sense'.

No + noun usually makes the negative stronger.

You don't have any alternative. - You have no alternative. (stronger)

I don't have any money. - I have no money. (stronger)

It doesn't make any sense. - It makes no sense. (stronger)

He doesn't have any homework to do. - He has no homework to do. (stronger)

You didn't pay any attention to what I was saying. - You paid no attention to what I was saying.


You can say the same thing, e.g. something is missing or absent, either with a negative verb and 'any' (it doesn't/does not make any sense to me) or a positive one and 'no' (it makes no sense to me).

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