No valid account number was specified


valid account number was not specified

I think both of them are correct but which one is more common? And which one is more formal?

  • 1
    The second isn't grammatical (putting "A" at the start would fix this). Jul 4, 2016 at 10:34
  • 1
    Adding an A to the second one would make both correct. 2nd one is more formal, polite.
    – Darshan Chaudhary
    Jul 4, 2016 at 10:46
  • What do you mean by "formal"? What is the context that you're using this phrase? Both of them look like error messages, in which case, formality isn't an issue.
    – Catija
    Jul 15, 2016 at 16:17

1 Answer 1


The first sentence is correct:

No valid account number was specified.

The second sentence needs an indefinite article at the beginning to make it correct:

A valid account number was not specified.

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