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      • Native Language:
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      • Taiwan
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    • Join Date: Apr 2008
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    #1

    won't or wouldn't

    Hi,

    I know sometimes "won't" means "refuse to". For example, I've tried to give her advice, but she won't listen.

    However, this sentence: I asked Sue what happened, but she won't tell me.
    Can I write it like this: I asked Sue what happened, but she wouldn't tell me.

    Thank you

  1. Roman55's Avatar
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      • British English
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      • Italy
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      • France

    • Join Date: Feb 2014
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    #2

    Re: won't or wouldn't

    I am not a teacher.

    No, for me they don't have the same meaning.

    I asked Sue what happened, but she won't tell me. This means she didn't tell you then, she's not telling you now, and there's a good chance that she won't tell you in the future.

    I asked Sue what happened, but she wouldn't tell me. This just means that she wouldn't tell you when you asked, but she might tell you if you ask again.

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