Would there be any difference? For instance,

  1. I don't want to talk about non-important issues. (unimportant)

  2. He is a very non-active/non-sexual person. (inactive) (asexual)

  3. This is a non-logical assumption. (illogical)

  • 3
    In short, no. People would understand what you meant, but it's neither idiomatically nor grammatically correct to substitute "non-" for other, established negative prefixes. Commented Sep 12, 2015 at 1:34
  • You mean "he is non-present today"?
    – Maulik V
    Commented Sep 12, 2015 at 7:16
  • @MaulikV - Actually, "he is not present today" would be more likely. Commented Oct 25, 2018 at 0:25

1 Answer 1


The prefix non- is used with words that either don't have a form with "another" negative prefix or an antonym, like

non-denominational church

or with words for which the standard form (or the antonym) has a slightly different meaning from what can be achieved by using 'non-'

A non-negative value - (="positive or zero" instead of "positive")

The rest should be used with the "regular" negative prefix.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .