Negative adjectives

In English, one way to make negative statements is with a negative adjective: no or neither.

Read lesson
 * en español
 * en français

Here are some examples with the adjective no. Note that it precedes the noun or adjective + noun.

There are no boys in the room. / No boys are in the room.

I’ve been seeing no new clients.

He can do no deliveries tonight.

While these sentences are gramatically correct, native speakers prefer to form these statements with the negative adverb not along with the adverb any.

less common   more common
There are no boys in the room. There aren’t (are not) any boys in the room.
I’ve been seeing no new clients. I haven’t (have not) been seeing any new clients
He can do no deliveries tonight. He can’t (cannot) do any deliveries tonight.

The adjective no is often used in a short phrase without a verb to indicate that something is not allowed.

No parking

No exit

No smoking

The adjective neither indicates a negative comparison between two nouns and means "not one or the other." Note that neither is placed at the beginning of the sentence, and that the noun that follows neither is always singular.

Neither idea is good. = There are two ideas. Both ideas are bad.
Neither apartment was available. Both apartments were unavailable.
Neither candidate made a speech. There were two candidates and they were both silent.

 
Related lessons:

Leave a Reply