UNIT 84. No/none/any Nothing/nobody, etc.

Australia-47 grammar


No and none

We use no + noun. No = not a or not any:
– We had to walk home because there was no bus. (= there wasn’t a bus)
– Sue will have no difficulty finding a job. (= Sue won’t have any difficulty …)
– There were no stores open. (= There weren’t any stores open.)

You can use no + noun at the beginning of a sentence:
– No reason was given for the change of plan.

We use none without a noun:
– “How much money do you have?” “None.” (= no money)
– All the tickets have been sold. There are none left. ( no tickets left)

Or we use none of …:
– This money is all yours. None of it is mine.

After none of + plural (none of the students, none of them. etc.) the verb can be singular or plural.
A plural verb is more common:
– None of the stores were (or was) open.


Nothing nobody/no one nowhere

You can use these negative words at the beginning of a sentence or alone (as answers to questions):
– Nobody (or No one) came to visit me while I was in the hospital.
– “What happened?” “Nothing.”
– “Where are you going?” “Nowhere. I’m staying here.”

You can also use these words after a verb, especially after be and have:
– The house is empty. THere’s no one living there.
– We had nothing to eat.

Nothing/nobody, etc. = not + anything/anybody, etc:
– I didn’t say anything. (= I said nothing.)
– Jane didn’t tell anybody about her plans. (= Jane told nobody …)
– They don’t have anywhere to live. (= They have nowhere to live.)

With nothing/nobody, etc., do not use a negative verb (isn’t, didn’t etc.):
– I said nothing (not I didn’t say nothing)
– Nobody tells me anything. (not Nobody doesn’t tell me)


We also use any/anything/anybody, etc. (without not) to mean “it doesn’t matter which/what/who”. (see Unit 83D)
Compare no- and any-:
– There was no bus, so we walked home.
You can take any bus. They all go downtown. (= it doesn’t matter which)
– “What do you want to eat?” “Nothing. I’m not hungry.”
I’m so hungry I could eat anything. (= it doesn’t matter what)
– The exam was extremely difficult, Nobody passed. (= everybody failed)
The exam was very easy. Anybody could have passed. (= it doesn’t matter who)


After nobody/no one you can use they/them/their (see also Unit 83E):
– Nobody called, did they? (= did he or she)
– No one did what I asked them to do. (= him or her)
– Nobody in the class did their homework. (= his or her homework)