Not a racist or no racist

< Previous | Next >

Oros

Senior Member
Korean
Another cause could be President Vladimir Putin's campaign to make Russians feel proud of their country.
The president is no racist, but his message may have been misinterpreted by some who have translated it into an excuse to dislike foreigners.

1. He is not a racist.


2. He is no racist.


I would always write the first sentence; however, it seems even the second sentence is fine.


Is the second sentence fine?
What makes the difference between the two?
 
  • jimreilly

    Senior Member
    American English
    They both mean the same thing, but somehow there is more often a "but" after "He is no racist", as there is in the example you cited. Both statements are usually made in response to charges or implications that someone is or is thought to be a racist, however, and there can be a "but" after either one.

    Let's try it with comething less inflamatory:

    I am not a gardener.
    I am no gardner!
    I am not a gardener, but I like planting daffodils.
    I am no gardener, but I like planting daffodils (anyway).

    The "not" constructions are just a little more factual and carry a little less emotional weight or emphasis.
     

    Oros

    Senior Member
    Korean
    3. I am not rich, but trying to make a living by running a kiosk

    4.I am no rich, but trying to make a living by running a kiosk.


    Would you write the fourth sentence?
     

    estefanos

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    4.I am no rich, but trying to make a living by running a kiosk.

    Would you write the fourth sentence?

    The construction with "no" requires a noun, rather than an adjective. The sentence above is incorrect. But you could say "I'm no millionaire..."
     

    GenJen54

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    There's a popular song in the US called "Gold Digger" by hip-hop/rap artist Kanye West. The lyrics in the song's refrain are:

    Now, I ain't sayin' she's a gold digger
    But she ain't messin' wit no broke, broke...

    gold digger - woman who wants a man for his money
    mess with - to be involved with
    broke - person of no means, poor person, someone who is broke

    What he's trying to present, both "poetically" and literally is the fact that he is emphatically not broke, or poor. In fact, given this context, it conveys that he is quite the opposite of this.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top