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“There is no rule” vs. “there isn’t rule”

If I'm not mistaken, both "There isn't a storm." and "There is no storm." have the same meaning.

I understand that the first one is the "contraction" of the second one, but what I can't understand is that if it is the contraction of the second, why the is second "There is no storm" and not "There is not storm"?

marked as duplicate by RegDwigнt Nov 7 '12 at 23:28

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  • It's a contraction of There is not a storm, which is also correct, if odd. – McGarnagle Nov 7 '12 at 22:19
  • I know that isn't is the contraction of is not. Maybe I should have answered on other way. Both there is no and there is not are right? – yzT Nov 7 '12 at 22:23
  • The contraction of the second sentence in your question would be There's no storm. Both there isn't a storm and there is not a storm are not incorrect, but sound a bit off. – McGarnagle Nov 7 '12 at 22:34

"Isn't" is a contraction of "is not". (Not "is no".)

The correct long form of "there isn't a storm" is "there is not a storm."


The possibility of using contractions is irrelevant here. OP's examples could be reversed by contrasting there is not a storm with there's no storm - it's all the same.

In such constructions, "no" stands in for "not any". It's possible that with any given formulation, some people might perceive a distinction in either nuance of meaning or "euphony/acceptability". For example...

There is not a God.

There's not a God.

There is no God.

There's no God.

...but I can't say any of those seem inherently "ungrammatical" to me, or mean anything different.


Because the contraction expands to

  • there is not a storm

The meaning is the same even if the wording is different.

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