There <are no cars> <is no car> in the street.

stephenlearner

Senior Member
Chinese
There are no cars in the street.

There is no car in the street.

The first sentence means there are not any cars in the street. The second sentence means there is not a car in the street. Not even one. So the second is more emphatic than the first sentence. But basically they have the same meaning.

However, the second sentence could mean that there are some cars in the street, but the car which was previously talked about is not there. Is that right?

Thanks.
 
  • Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    No. The second sentence can only really be used to refute the assertion “there’s a car in the street”.
     

    Wordy McWordface

    Senior Member
    SSBE (Standard Southern British English)
    There are no cars in the street.

    There is no car in the street.

    The first sentence means there are not any cars in the street. The second sentence means there is not a car in the street. Not even one. So the second is more emphatic than the first sentence. But basically they have the same meaning.
    Yes, the basic meaning is the same. But whereas the first is a straightforward statement about how many cars are in the street (zero cars), there are very few contexts in which the second would be natural. As Glasguensis says, you would only use this to refute the statement "There is a car in the street".
    However, the second sentence could mean that there are some cars in the street, but the car which was previously talked about is not there. Is that right?
    No.
    'There is no car ...' cannot mean 'There are some cars.'
     

    stephenlearner

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Stephen: Where is the car?
    John: It is in the street. In front of a yellow Porsche.
    Stephen: I'm here, but there is no car.

    Here, there is no car doesn't mean there are no cars in the street.
     

    stephenlearner

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Doesn't "there is no car" also mean I'm at the place which you referred to and I see the yellow Porsche, but I don't see the car you referred to?
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English (US - northeast)
    Yes. In this context, that is what it means. That is what someone who says this is expressing.

    Stephen: Where is the car?
    John: It is in the street. In front of a yellow Porsche.
    Stephen: I'm here, but there is no car
    Stephen might add (to make sure his meaning is clear):

    I see the yellow Porsche, but there is no car in front of it.
     
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