Won’t is a contraction of the words will and not, making it an easier way to say the two words. Many contractions can obviously be tied to two separate words being combined together, which makes won’t a little bit confusing to some.
So why exactly does will and not make won’t? You might wonder if there’s an explanation for this, or if it’s just one of those weird things about the English language.
What Does Won’t Mean?
Won’t means that you will not do something, that something will not work, or something to that effect. It’s a contraction of will and not.
How Does Will And Not Equal Won’t?
The best explanation for why will and not becomes won’t as a contraction can be traced back to old English. Old English was a lot more convoluted than English today, and there were many different ways to say will.
For instance, some of the words that were used instead of or in place of will included wole, wool, and wyll. There was also a former way to say will not, known as wonnot. This said, it’s easier to see how the contraction came about to be won’t instead of willn’t. However, you might be surprised to know that willn’t was actually used before.
When To Use Won’t
You can use the contraction won’t when you are wanting to say will not, but either want to sound more conversational or casual. When you are writing something of an academic or professional nature, it’s best to avoid contractions.
You will also find the contraction won’t used when you’re asking someone a question, such as: Won’t you come with me to the store today? If you were to use the full term, will not, that’s not going to make grammatical sense.
Why Do We Use Contractions?
Contractions can be beneficial to our speech and our writing, as it gives us the opportunity to express thoughts and ideas in a faster way. While you may not see the need to use contractions, there’s no doubt that they serve their intended purpose. In most cases, the use of contractions is entirely up to the speaker or writer.
Won’t can be one of those contractions that aren’t clear to people at first glance. Since most contractions just involve removing one or two letters and adding an apostrophe in place of that missing letter, won’t is a deviation of that pattern. That is, unless you know the old English roots of this particular contraction.
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