TEFL Tips – No and Not

I have another tip for the aspiring English teacher in you – don’t think you will always know more grammar than your students! When were you last at school, studying English? Probably a very long time ago. Your students may well have been studying it for the last 10 or 20 years. Fear not, this doesn’t mean you are of no use to them, and besides, you’ll pick up the grammar rules as you go along! The advantage you have, even if you have forgotten a particular grammar rule, is that you at least know what is correct and what isn’t. You can soon work out the why’s and how’s and pass it on.

I’ve learned most of what I need to learn, but every now and then I get asked a question that, if only temporarily, stumps me. Today – what is the difference between ‘no’ and ‘not’. It was so, so, so basic!! But, I teach advanced students. It’s just not a question that anyone has ever asked me! Still, as I’ve mentioned, I know when I use them, so it was a matter of just writing out a few sentences as examples and studying them as I went. The basics were obvious – no in response to a question, not to make a verb neagtive. What about nouns etc? You’ll be pleased to know I managed to assertain their correct usage! Just in case you are interested…

No – answers a yes/no question – “No, the president wasn’t surprised by the results of the election.”

– precedes a noun that has no article – “The company had no worthy rivals in the industry.”

– it is not used before any, much, many, or enough.

Not – precedes a noun that has an article – “The virus is not the source of the outbreak.”

– precedes any, much, many, or enough – “Not many amateur astronomers can afford the equipment necessary to study the nova.”

– makes a verb negative – “They do not want to proceed with the experimental study.”

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