1
vote
1answer
236 views

Why does the word “never” not contain an apostrophe?

If never is a contraction of 'not ever' why does it not have an apostrophe, i.e. why is it not written n'ever rather than never? I can understand that the apostrophe has simply fallen out of use, but ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

“I wouldn't ever” vs. “I would never”

The two expressions from the title, “I wouldn't ever” and “I would never”, are very similar. But are they completely equivalent or do they bear any subtle differences? If so, how do they differ in ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

“I won't” vs. “I'll not”

I won’t and I’ll not are both short forms of I will not. Both are used in English. Are there any situations where one is preferred over other?
-3
votes
1answer
3k views

“No, I don't” or “No, I do not” in responding English questions

Consider: A: Do you like ice cream? B: No, I don't. Usually in a grammar book when you answer someone's question with negation you'll use shortened answer as in "I don't". I know you can ...
9
votes
2answers
348 views

How was “ben't” used, and when did it cease to be used?

In Jane Austen's The Watsons, the maid of the titular family utters the following sentence: "Please, ma'am, master wants to know why he ben't to have his dinner?" I have never encountered ben't ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

“Is it not raining” vs. “Isn't it raining”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Tag Questions “is he not” Which is correct: Is it not raining today? Isn't it raining today?
7
votes
1answer
24k views

When to use “cannot” versus “can't”?

When is it best to write "can't" versus writing "cannot"? Are they interchangeable in every situation?
1
vote
4answers
218 views

“Can take no other” vs. “can't take other”

As an ESL I'm not sure if I can use the following sentences: You can take no other directions. I'm using it on giving indications to a foreigner. Should I use instead: You can't take other ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

Difference between “I haven't” and “I've not” etc

If I have three consecutive words where each adjacent pair can be contracted, e.g. "I would have" or "You are not", is there a difference between the two possible contractions, e.g. "I would've" or ...
3
votes
5answers
8k views

“There isn't” vs. “there's not”

They both expand to "there is not" but for some reason "There's not" sounds indescribably uncomfortable for most situations. Can anyone elucidate why this might be? Or am I wrong? EDIT: Let me ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Tag Questions “is he not”

"He is happy, isn't he?" If you did not use the contraction isn't he, in the question above, would the correct sentence be: "He is happy, is he not?" "He is happy, is not he?" Sentence #1 seems ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Contraction of “is not”

How exactly can you contract the phrase "is not"? More specifically, what's the difference between the sentences, "The dog isn't running." and "The dog's not running."? They both sound correct to ...
2
votes
6answers
18k views

“won't” vs. “wouldn't”

Are these two words interchangeable? How do you know when to use one or the other? For some sentences it is easy to know which one to use, but not for others. The type of sentences that are difficult ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

“It isn't” vs. “it's not”

Is one stronger than the other? More correct? Just curious, one of the many abstract things to pop into my head on the drive home today...
6
votes
1answer
6k views

“They're not” vs. “they aren't”

How dissimilar are "they're not" and "they aren't"? Is it dependent on context or are these exactly the same? They are supposed to be going, but they are not. They are not going.
5
votes
5answers
2k views

Is this usage of “aren't” proper English?

Aren't you going to go outside? My wife insists this is improper English, Hillbilly speak, she calls it. The proper way to ask, she says, is Are you going to go outside? I say it's the same as ...
1
vote
4answers
910 views

“There is no rule” vs. “there isn't rule”

What are the differences between the two sentences below: There is no rule. There isn't rule.
6
votes
1answer
9k views

“Do you not” vs. “Don't you”

I live in the UK and I mostly hear people saying Don't you..., but some people say: Do you not...? What is the difference and which one is more correct? You can put any example really. Something ...
3
votes
1answer
16k views

Why is “will not” contracted as “won't”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is “won't” a contraction of? The Why is "cannot" spelled as one word? post brought back another oddity I noticed when learning English. The ...