origin of the negative contraction "won't" for the future tense

Discussion in 'English Only' started by helenista, Aug 6, 2007.

  1. helenista New Member

    Spain, Spanish
    Hello Everyone!

    I would like to know why the negative contraction "won't" for the future tense is "won't" instead of "willn't".

    Thanks in advance for your attention and help.

  2. Matching Mole

    Matching Mole Senior Member

    England, English
    Do you mean why is it "won't" instead of "willn't"? It comes from the first person present indicative "I woll", which was current even to some extent until the 19th century, but was standard usage in the 16th century. So it is a contraction of "wonnot" which in turn is a contraction of "woll not". The second and third persons were (and of course still are) "will", and originally there was a "wynnot" but "wonnot" won out and replaced it for all persons, at some point in the 16th c.
  3. helenista New Member

    Spain, Spanish
    Dear Matching Mole:

    Thank you very much for your response. That is exactly what I wanted to know. I have edited my original message so that the question is clearer.

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