Nothing vs. No Thing in English Grammar

Are They the Same?

In this part we will discuss the different spelling of nothing with and without space between the two parts and we'll see which one is correct and more useful.

Nothing vs. No Thing

'Nothing' is an indefinite pronoun. It means 'not anything'. It shows the lack of a single thing.

There is nothing in my backpack .

'No' refers to the negation or absence of a thing. But we need to know what a 'thing' can be. Can a 'thing' be without substance? Can an idea or thought be considered a thing?
When 'no' and 'thing' are put together as 'nothing', it means the absence of a thing that can either be abstract (like a thought/idea) or concrete (3 dimensional).

There's nothing I can do to help him .

On the other hand, when we put 'no' and 'thing' as a two-word noun phrase, i.e. 'no thing', note that the 'thing' must be a concrete thing (a thing that can be seen or touched), so when we say 'no thing' it means there's a presence there, but it has no form.

I thought I saw something there , but it was no thing ; it was just a shadow .

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