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    #1

    Matter of tense

    Suppose I'm calling a friend on the phone, but there's no reply. What would I say?

    Why won't he answer?
    Why isn't he answering?
    Why doesn't he answer?

    I know there are obvious differences, but what would a native speaker tyically say in a situation like this? Any alternatives?

    Thanks

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Matter of tense

    Quote Originally Posted by wace View Post
    Suppose I'm calling a friend on the phone, but there's no reply. What would I say?

    Why won't he answer?
    Why isn't he answering?
    Why doesn't he answer?

    I know there are obvious differences, but what would a native speaker tyically say in a situation like this? Any alternatives?

    Thanks
    In normal circumstances I would probably say "I wonder why he's not answering", if I were annoyed because I had phoned several times without success I might say "Why isn't he answering?" or "Why doesn't he answer?" I would be most unlikely to be so annoyed as to say "Why won't he answer?"

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    #3

    Re: Matter of tense

    I couldn't have asked for a better explanation!!
    Thank you, bhai, you're a brick!

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Matter of tense

    Quote Originally Posted by wace View Post
    I couldn't have asked for a better explanation!!
    Thank you, bhai, you're a brick!
    You are very welcome.

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