In modern English grammar, verb + ing is catogarized into three classes:
So whether no or not will come immediately before a verb + ing will depend on which class the ing form of verb falls into. Let's make it more clear: it's only before Gerundial Noun that no occurs.
So it boils down to identifying the class of verb + ing. If we know which class they are in, we can easily tell whether no or not will be correct before it.
1. No hunting is allowed here. [Gerundial Noun]
2. He is the host today, and he is entertaining his guests. [Gerund-Participle form of verb]
3. He is good at entertaining the guests. [Gerund-Participle form of verb]
4. It was an entertaining show. [Participle Adjective]
5. The show is entertaining. [Ambiguous]
First we will see the difference between a Gerundial Noun and Gerund-Participle form of verb, later we will focus on the difference between Gerund-Participle form of verb and Participle Adjectives.
Gerundial Noun vs Gerund Participle form of verb:
Both Gerundial Noun and Gerund-Participle has the structure of verb + ing. Here's the difference -
- When Gerund-Participle is formed from transitive verb + ing, it normally takes a Noun Phrase (NP) object, but a Gerundial Noun formed from the same verb don't take NP complement.
Hunting the rhinos is a crime. [Hunting is a Gerund-Participle of verb, it takes a NP - the rhinos]
Hunting of rhino is not allowed here. [Hunting here is a Gerundial Noun, and hence it doesn't take a NP complement. It however takes a Prepositional Phrase (PP) as complement - of rhino]
- A Gerund-Participle of verb can take predicative complement but a Gerundial Noun can't.
I am surprised at being asked about such thing.
Here being is not a Gerundial Noun, it's a Gerund-Participle form of verb, because it takes a predicative complement after it.
- Modifier - Gerundial Nouns can be modified by an adjective, but not by an adverb. On the other hand a Gerund-Participle is modified by an adverb.
Ali was ordered to be hanged for mercilessly killing two innocent students. [killing here is a Gerund-Participle of verb, and it's modified by an adverb - mercilessly.]
Ali was ordered to hanged for merciless killing of two innocent students. [killing here is a Gerundial Noun and it's being modified by an adjective - merciless.]
- Determiner - The and other comparable determinatives occur with Gerundial Nouns, but not with Gerund-Participle of verb.
Students, concentrate on your lesson. No talking among yourselves. [Here talking is a Gerundial Noun and it takes a determinative - no - before it.]
Everyone believes Messi's decision of retirement from International football is an impulsive one, and it resulted from the shattering of hopes. [shattering here is a Gerundial Noun, and determinative - the - can easily sit before it.]
- Plural inflection - Gerundial Noun can have plural inflection, but a Gerund-Participle can never have.
The killings of birds ... [Here killing is a Gerundial Noun]
*Killings the birds is not acceptable. [Here killing is a Gerund-Participle of verb, and hence no plural inflection is allowed.]
Gerund-Participle form of verb vs Participle Adjective:
- Normally Gerund-Participle form of verb can take NP complement, but Participle Adjectives don't.
The whole experience was frightening. [Here frightening is a Participle Adjective.]
Reading only textbooks wouldn't help. [Here reading is a Gerun-Participle of verb, and it takes a NP - only textbooks as a complement.]
- The word - seem - can take Participle Adjective after it.
The show seemed entertaining. [Here entertaining is a Participle Adjective.]
- Participle Adjective can be modified by very and too.
The show was very entertaining. [Entertaining here is a Participle Adjective.]
Hybrid Construction -
Stop constant mixing the conflicting ideas.
What mixing is here? It takes a NP - the conflicting ideas - as complement. At the same time it's being modified by an adjective - constant. In one hand it's a Gerund-Participle of verb, but on the other hand it's a Gerundial Noun. This type of construction is called Hybrid construction. The sentence quoted above with hybrid construction is marginally accepted. But the sentence below is widely accepted one -
There is no denying the fact.
This denying taking NP - the fact. In that respect it's a Gerund-Participle form of verb. On the other hand it takes a determiner no just like a Gerundial Noun. such use of no is normally restricted to existential constructions with there.
Some sentences people here asked which they were not sure why no or not comes before verb + ing -
- I'm surprised at not being asked about it.
We have already seen that Gerund-Participle form of verb can take a predicative complement. Here being took a predicative complement - asked about it. Here being is a Gerund-Participle form of verb and hence not comes before it.
- Now I understand that not going to the party was a big mistake.
Let's try to insert a predicative complement with going in that sentence. What about poorly dressed? So the sentence would look like this - *Now I understand that (not) **going* to the party poorly-dressed was a big mistake.* So here also going is a Gerund-Participle form of verb and hence not is correct.
- His not seeing them off made them sad.
Here seeing take a NP - them off. There is no doubt but that seeing here is a Gerund-Participle form of verb. So not is correct.
- The best thing about a holiday is not working.
Here working don't take any complement. But try inserting an adverb with it. The best thing about holiday is working slowly. As working is being modified by an adverb, it's an indication that working here is a Gerund-Participle of verb. So not is acceptable.
- Walking but not running was done today.
I don't like to cite this example when explaining verb + ing and whether no or not would come before it. Because this sentence contains ellipsis. The full version of the sentence would be - Walking was done today, but running was not done. This sentence is similar to Bob came, but Hary did not come. => Bod came, but not Hary.