“Nothing” / “Nobody” etc.


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General English
Topic Progress:

Welcome to your “Nothing” / “Nobody” Lesson! In this topic we talk about:
• “No” and “none”
“Nothing”, “nobody”/”no-one”, “nowhere”
Other ways to use these words
Using pronouns
Take the quizzes when you’re ready! If you’re having problems, use the comment box to contact our English Teachers.

“No” and “none”

We use “no” with nouns. “No” means “not a” or “not any”:

“If we go to the beach early, we’ll have no problem finding a spot.”

“There are no shops open on Monday morning here.”

“We finished dinner early, we wasted no time.”

“No” can be used at the beginning of sentences:

No animals were harmed during the making of this film.”

No shops are open on Sundays.”

We use “none” without nouns:

“How much time do we have?” “None, we have to leave now.”

“All the cake has been eaten. There is none left.”

We can also use “none” with “of”‘:

None of the people at the party were interesting.”

“This money is all yours, none of it is mine.”

After “none + of + plural” the verb can be singular or plural. We normally use the plural verb however:

None of the shops were (or was) open on Sunday.”

“Nothing”, “nobody”/”no-one”, “nowhere”

These negative words can be used at the beginning of the sentence or alone as answers:

Nobody knew that she could cook so well!”

“What happened?” “Nothing.”

Nowhere is as beautiful as Singapore.”

You can use these words after a verb, especially after “have” and “be”:

“I’m so hungry, I’ve had nothing to eat all day.”

“There‘s no-one working at the bank at the moment.”

“Nothing”, “no-one” etc. mean “not anything”, “not anyone” etc:

“I didn’t do anything!”
(I did nothing)

“They didn’t tell anyone that they were getting married.”
(They told nobody…)

“They haven’t got anything to drink.”
(They have nothing…)

With “nothing”, “no-one” etc. you cannot use a negative verb:

“They said nothing.”

Nobody tells me anything.”

Other ways to use these words

We use “any”, “anything”, “anybody” etc. (without not) to mean “it doesn’t matter” Let’s compare “no” and “any”:

“There was no bus, so we walked home.”
“You can take any bus. They all go to the town centre.”
(any = I doesn’t matter which)

“What do you want to eat?” “Nothing, I’m not hungry.”
“I could eat anything, I’m so hungry.”

“The exam was so hard, no-one passed.”
“The exam was so easy, anyone could have passed.”

Using pronouns

After “nobody” or “no-body” you can use “they”, “them” or “their”:

“Nobody phoned while I was out, did they?”

“No-one does what I tell them to do!”

“Nobody in my class did their homework.”