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      • Native Language:
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    #1

    Why won't you talk?

    Imagine that your sister has just come home, crying. You tell her to tallk about what has happened but she refuses. What would you say?

    Why don't uou talk?
    Why won't you talk?

    Thanks.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Why won't you talk?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Mckane View Post
    Imagine that your sister has just come home, crying. You tell her to tallk about what has happened but she refuses. What would you say?

    Why don't uou talk?
    Why won't you talk?

    Thanks.
    If you say "Why don't you talk?" it sounds as if this is a regular occurrence, that she frequently doesn't talk.

    If you are only asking her about this one instance, when she is actually refusing to talk, then use "Why won't you talk?"

  2. Nightmare85's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Why won't you talk?

    **Neither a teacher nor a native speaker.**

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Mckane View Post
    Imagine that your sister has just come home, crying. You tell her to talk about what has happened but she refuses (it). What would you say?

    Why don't you talk?
    Why won't you talk?

    Thanks.
    Good question.
    What about:
    Why aren't you talking?

    However, if I only had the chance between these two sentences, I would clearly go for #1.
    I would choose sentence #2 for such a case:
    P1: When my father comes, I won't say anything.
    P2: Why won't you talk to him?


    Cheers!

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Why won't you talk?

    If you refuse to do something, then you are effectively saying that you will not do it.

    Imagine a small child, who does not want to tidy up their toys.

    Parent: Clear up your toys!
    Child: No. I won't!

    The child wouldn't say "No. I don't".

  4. BobK's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Why won't you talk?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    **Neither a teacher nor a native speaker.**



    Good question.
    What about:
    [COLOR=Blue]Why aren't you talking?

    ...
    That's what I'd say in that case. 'Why won't you talk?' is a question you'd put to someone who was typically uncommunicative - it's about a general willingness to talk. 'You always bottle things up. Why won't you talk?'

    And a common use of 'why don't you...?' is to make a suggestion: 'If that's the way you feel, why don't you talk about it?'

    b

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