I have some confusion about these two forms below:

- I am no Politician

- I am not a Politician

Same goes with:

- I have no friends

- I don't have friends

  • I am no [occupation] has the idiomatic meaning "I am certainly not a [person of that occupation] and have no expert knowledge in the field" - for example "I'm no doctor, but I can see that you ought to be at home in bed". Commented Jun 15, 2022 at 12:15

1 Answer 1


"Not" negates the meaning of the modified verb when used as an adverb.

"No" means "not any" when used as a determiner.

A good way to remember the difference is that "not" works with verbs and "no" works with nouns.

"Not" is usually used to modify verbs. It negates the meaning of a verb. If a verb did not occur, you will use "not". Sometimes not accompanies nouns, but it only works with nouns that have an article (a, an, the). It can also come before an adverb, such as "not many".


But they basically have the same meaning in your sentences, just different usages.

  • 1
    You need to put anything you're directly quoting in blockquotes.
    – Laurel
    Commented Jun 15, 2022 at 12:02
  • @Laurel sorry my bad, I'll keep that in mind for future posts!
    – DialFrost
    Commented Jun 15, 2022 at 12:03
  • "Not" negating a noun, as in "not a sound could be heard".
    – BillJ
    Commented Jun 15, 2022 at 12:13

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