31. Missing Negative Words

The answer choices for this type of item are four negative expressions, such as the ones listed below:

Negative WordUseMeaningExample
noadjectivenot anyThere was no milk in the refrigerator.
nonepronounnot oneThey took a lot of pictures, but almost none of them turned out.
nothingpronounnot anythingThere was nothing in his briefcase.
no onepronounnot anyoneNo one arrived at the meeting on time.
norconjunctionand . . . notHe’s never been fishing, nor does he plan to go.
withoutprepositionnot havingShe likes her coffee without milk or sugar.
neveradverbat no timeI’ve never been to Alaska.

The negative word not is used to make almost any kind of word or phrase negative: verbs, prepositional phrases, infinitives, adjectives, and so on.
Both no and not can be used before nouns, depending on meaning.

There is no coffee in the pot. (It’s empty.)
This is not coffee. (It’s tea.)

The adjective no is also used before the word longer to mean “not anymore.”

I no longer read the afternoon paper

Sample Item

There is almost ________________ vegetation in the Badlands, a barren region of South Dakota.

(A) not
(B) nor
(C) none
(D) no

Choices (A), (B), and (C) cannot be used before nouns as adjectives. Therefore, the correct answer is (D).

By the way, probably the most common correct answer for this type of problem is the adjective no.

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