Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Possible Duplicate:
What is the difference between “no” and “not”?

there is a question always confusing me. Is it 'no good' or 'not good'? How do I use them? I guess they are different, but I never know what is the difference! Thank you in advance!

share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by simchona, jwpat7, waiwai933 Apr 17 '12 at 4:08

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
Please add some example sentences to provide context. As is, your question can't properly be answered. Oh, when you edit your question, remove the "Thank you in advance!" part. –  jwpat7 Apr 17 '12 at 2:54
    
Possible dupplicate of What is the difference between "no" and "not" –  Bidella Apr 17 '12 at 3:38
add comment

2 Answers 2

From OED (good):

colloq. to be any, some, no good: to be any, some, no use. Also of persons, to be no good = 'to be a bad lot', to be worthless. Also of things a bit of no good, quite a lot of harm.

No good functions as both an attributive adjective (e.g., a no-good dirty dog) and noun (e.g., what a no good)

On the other hand, saying that something is not good is just indicating that the adjective 'good' does not apply to it. In many instances, no good and not good can both be used. No good is certainly the more informal alternative.

share|improve this answer
add comment

The only difference I can immediately think of is:

'No good' implies doing something, so an idea is 'no good', a lamp is 'no good' if it doesn't light and software is 'no good' if it doesn't work.

'Not good' seems more of a property of the substance, so milk that has gone bad is 'not good'

share|improve this answer
1  
-1: I would have liked to see some references. It seems like this is just a hunch. –  J D OConal Apr 17 '12 at 3:59
add comment

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.