formulae People sometimes say `It's nothing' as a polite response after someone has thanked them for something they have done. `Thank you for the wonderful dinner.' --- `It's nothing,' Sarah said `I'll be on my way. I can't thank you enough, Alan.' --- `It was nothing, but take care.' = don't mention it
Nothing means not a single thing, or not a single part of something. I've done nothing much since coffee time Mr Pearson said he knew nothing of his wife's daytime habits He was dressed in jeans and nothing else There is nothing wrong with the car
emphasis Nothing of the sort is used when strongly contradicting something that has just been said. `We're going to talk this over in my office.' --- `We're going to do nothing of the sort.' Mrs Adamson said that she was extremely sorry, in tones that made it clear that she was nothing of the sort
a nonexistent thing a quantity of no importance; "it looked like nothing I had ever seen before"; "reduced to nil all the work we had done"; "we racked up a pathetic goose egg"; "it was all for naught"; "I didn't hear zilch about it"
If you say that there is nothing for it but to take a particular action, you mean that it is the only possible course of action that you can take, even though it might be unpleasant. Much depends on which individual ingredients you choose. There is nothing for it but to taste and to experiment for yourself
emphasis You use nothing if not in front of an adjective to indicate that someone or something clearly has a lot of the particular quality mentioned. Professor Fish has been nothing if not professional
emphasis You can use nothing before `so' and an adjective or adverb, or before a comparative, to emphasize how strong or great a particular quality is. Youngsters learn nothing so fast as how to beat the system I consider nothing more important in my life than songwriting There's nothing better than a good cup of hot coffee
If you say that something cost nothing or is worth nothing, you are indicating that it cost or is worth a surprisingly small amount of money. The furniture was threadbare; he'd obviously picked it up for nothing Homes in this corner of Mantua that once went for $350,000 are now worth nothing
If you say that something is better than nothing, you mean that it is not what is required, but that it is better to have that thing than to have nothing at all. After all, 15 minutes of exercise is better than nothing
You use nothing before an adjective or `to'-infinitive to say that something or someone does not have the quality indicated. Around the lake the countryside generally is nothing special There was nothing remarkable about him All kids her age do silly things; it's nothing to worry about
You use nothing to indicate that something or someone is not important or significant. Because he had always had money it meant nothing to him While the increase in homicides is alarming, it is nothing compared to what is to come in the rest of the decade She kept bursting into tears over nothing at work Do our years together mean nothing? Nothing is also a noun. It is the picture itself that is the problem; so small, so dull. It's a nothing, really
You use nothing but in front of a noun, an infinitive without `to', or an `-ing' form to mean `only'. All that money brought nothing but sadness and misery and tragedy It did nothing but make us ridiculous They care for nothing but fighting
If you say about an activity that there is nothing to it or nothing in it, you mean that it is extremely easy. This device has a gripper that electrically twists off the jar top. Nothing to it If you've shied away from making pancakes in the past, don't be put off -- there's really nothing in it!
a quantity of no importance; "it looked like nothing I had ever seen before"; "reduced to nil all the work we had done"; "we racked up a pathetic goose egg"; "it was all for naught"; "I didn't hear zilch about it"
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