- Parent Category: Beginner Skill Builders
- Category: Beginner Skill Builders: Grammar
- Written by Chris Cotter
What are every and no?
Every and no are quantifiers. We use these words before nouns to add information about quantity. Here are some other quantifiers, which may be familiar: all, a few, any, many, most, and some. Every and no refer to the number of items or people in a group. Every refers to all of the items or people. Here are two examples:
I love every Brad Pitt movie. He is my favorite actor.
The airline lost my luggage. Every souvenir from my vacation is gone!
These sentences mean that I love all movies with Brad Pitt and I lost all of my souvenirs. Remember: All equals 100%.
Conversely, no refers to none. For example:
There was no time to do the dishes today. I was too busy.
Paul has no friends in Japan.
The first example sentence means that I was too busy and couldn't wash the dishes. And in the second sentence, Paul is a lonely person in Japan!
What is the sentence structure?
Both quantifiers appear before the nouns they modify. For example:
Why is every train in the morning late? I'm going to get into trouble at work!
Alan eats lunch in a park where no people go. It's very quiet there.
How are every and no used?
Every is used to talk about all people, places, or things. Although every describes all of something, it's used with singular nouns. For example:
O I sent my resume to every company in my town.
X I sent my resume to every companies in my town.
O I will visit every country in South America next year.
X I will visit every countries in South America next year.
No is used when talking about an absence of all people, places, or things. The verb in the sentence must be positive. Here are some examples:
O I have no time these days. I'm too busy!
X I don't have no time these days. I'm too busy!
O I have no warm clothes. I should buy some before it gets cold.
X I don't have no warm clothes. I should buy some before it gets cold.
However, every can be used with negative sentences.
O I didn't send my resume to every company in town.
O I won't visit every country in South America next year.
And lastly, here are some questions sentences with these two determiners:
Why have the beaches been so crowded every Sunday this year?
What would you do if you had no money and were homeless?
Is there any additional information on every and no?
Yes. Every must be used with a countable noun. If there isn't a counter, such as a glass of... or a box of..., then every may not be used.
On the other hand, no may be used with both singular and plural countable nouns, as well as with uncountable nouns. For example:
(countable noun): Every book for my Science class is really expensive.
(singular countable noun): No seat on the train was open, so I had to stand.
(plural countable noun): The theater had no tickets for the midnight show.
(uncountable noun): If there were no coffee in the morning, I would go crazy.