Would it be right to say

Fame and glory just not come easy.

meaning "someone should work hard to become famous"?

2 Answers 2


Two problems:

  1. When English verbs are expressed in a negative sense, you have to use a form of the word do with it:

Fame and glory just do not come easy.

  1. Easy is an adjective - and adjectives modify nouns. Words ending in -ly are adverbs - adverbs modify verbs. So, you want to use easily instead of easy. Though in real speech you will not hear this rule followed consistently, especially with easy and a few other common words.

Fame and glory just do not come easily.

  • 2
    "Easy" can be used as a flat adverb (A flat adverb being an adverb formed from an adjective without adding -ly). Though, admittedly, this usage may be more informal. Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 23:41

Negative sentences using not require an auxiliary verb in English. The word not belongs with the auxiliary. In the Original Poster's example, they use the present simple. In positive sentences the present simple doesn't use an auxiliary. If we want to make the sentence negative we need to use the auxiliary DO. So for the Original Poster's sentence this gives us:

Fame and glory just don't come easy.

Because this use of easy instead of easily is quite informal we would definitely want to contract the did and not here.

  • Can we limit that to contemporary English? "Fame and glory come not just easily" might be stuffy, old-fashioned and very much worth avoiding, but it is still English. Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 16:22
  • @GaryBotnovcan I find that ungrammatical on its own, but ok if there's a following phrase, so not just easily, but .... Notice that that does not negate the sentence as a whole, because it will still take a negative tag. Nice point though. Will ponder ... Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 16:46

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