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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > I haven t got a pink umbrella, I haven t got any pink umbrella and I have no pink umbrella.    

I haven t got a pink umbrella, I haven t got any pink umbrella and I have no pink umbrella.


I haven t got a pink umbrella, I haven t got any pink umbrella and I have no pink umbrella.
Hi guys!
The title says it all! Is there a difference between the 3? If so could someone explain it to me in quite a simple way?
Thanks a million!

12 Feb 2011      

maryse pey

Hi Angela,
I will say that the 2 first have the same meaning. The article "a" is indefinite so it means 1 umbrella between all the existing umbrellas. "any" is there because there is the negation"not" marking the auxiliary.
The negation "no" marks the object. The verb is in an affirmative form and insists on the fact that I have ABSOLUTELY NOT any umbrella which color is pink, whatever pink it is. I may have a green one, a blue one a whatever color you can think of except pink.
Hope this could help.

12 Feb 2011     


Hi Angela, 

I wonder if you are asking about the semantic or grammatical meaning. 

1.  I haven`t got a pink umbrella. ----- "umbrella" is a single object, i.e. 3rd person SINGULAR and what is more important it is COUNTABLE SINGULAR, which means you always use "A" or "AN" regardless of the type of sentence: affirmative, negative or interrogative. 
Semantically it means that probably I have an umbrella, but not A PINK ONE.
2. I haven`t got any pink umbrella------ grammatically incorrect. It`s true that "any" is used in negative (and interrogative) sentences, but only with uncountable and countable PLURAL nouns which is not the case here.
3. I have no pink umbrella. ------ the meaning is identical with the first one, and grammatically it is ok too. Whenever we have "no" in a sentence it marks the sentence as negative, so we have to use a positive verb ("have" in this case) `cause two negations in one sentence do not go.

hope this helps!

12 Feb 2011     


I agree, but I also think ANY could be used here for stress, to point out that I really really don t have ANY pink umbrella, not mine not yours, no pink umbrellas at all!

As for "no pink umbrella" I think it s ok, but it s somewhat more correct to use the negative + any than the positive + no. It s considered better style or something.

I guess a native speaker should write a word or two about this.

12 Feb 2011     

United Kingdom

1) I haven t got a pink umbrella    
2) I haven t got any pink umbrella    X
3) I have no pink umbrella   X   but...

1) I don t have a pink umbrella has the same meaning here.

2) I haven t got any pink umbrellas - but I ve got lots of blue ones.
(with countable nouns: any + plural)

3) I have no pink umbrellas - basically the same as 2) although some may argue that I have no pink umbrella  is the same as I don t have a pink umbrella . Apart from the fact that the usage is quite dated, it s also debatable that they actually have the same meaning.

12 Feb 2011     


Thank you all for your answers that have helped me a lot!

13 Feb 2011     


An example from Merriam Webster:

<any person who comes in the store today is eligible for the discount>

I need an umbrella - any umbrella. I haven t got an umbrella. Any umbrella.

I think it s possible. I don t teach that, though, in order not to confuse my students about the more commen uses of a and any. 

No umbrella - like "No child left behind" - with a countable noun in singular, meaning "not any" as in "not any umbrella".  Hm. Wouldn t usually use it, though.

13 Feb 2011