What does it mean and what is different between Shan't & won't I need the answer with example

thank you

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    What time period and dialect of English are you asking about? In the U.S. today, the difference is that "shan't" is never used, and "won't" is commonly used. If this question was inspired by some uses in context, it would help to give them. – Peter Shor Aug 4 '13 at 0:43
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    @ geezanansa: If you believe there is only one definition of "shall" and "will", and it is true for the entire English-speaking world, you are incorrect. Shakespeare made one distinction between "shall" and "will". H. W. Fowler and many 19th century inhabitants of the south of England made a different distinction between "shall" and "will" Fowler's distinction makes no sense whatsoever to contemporary Americans, who have mostly stopped using "shall", and the usage has apparently changed in England, so Fowler's advice also no longer applies there. – Peter Shor Aug 4 '13 at 1:14
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    Apologies. Nice comment. How about adding the historical evidence as answer? My older pocket dictionary does not list "shan't" but newer dictionaries do! – geezanansa Aug 4 '13 at 1:21

In British English, "shan't" is used as a denial of permission while "won't" is just a statement of fact. In American English, "won't" is used in both cases while "shan't" is very rarely used.

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    Well, not exactly "fact". Will is a statement of prediction. And you're correct that American't rarely use shan't. That's because they rarely use shall. In American English, shall is used only in the first person, in two constructions, both indirect questions: (1) in the singular, as an offer to do something for the addressee: Shall I open the window?; (2) in the plural, as an invitation to participate in some activity with the speaker: Shall we dance? – John Lawler Aug 4 '13 at 2:12
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    I don't recognise this "Brits use shan't as a denial of permission". In what context? We say "No you won't!" and "No you don't!", but I never heard anyone outside Victorian period drama on TV saying "No you shan't!" – FumbleFingers Aug 4 '13 at 2:24
  • @FumbleFingers As in "You shall not do that!" – TrevorD Aug 4 '13 at 11:10
  • @TrevorD: I know how it used to be used, and what it means. I'm just saying it's antiquated, and very uncommon today - I don't accept katalin_2003's assertion that it's British as opposed to American usage. It's practically archaic, imho. – FumbleFingers Aug 4 '13 at 17:29
  • @FumbleFingers i never said it's British only. If you read the second paragraph, i said "shan't" is very rarely used in American English. – katalin_2003 Aug 4 '13 at 22:37

(To understand the use of shan't and won't let us look at the definition of shall and will.. Please look in your own dictionaries. Additionally have a look at Peter Shor's link in his comment to question. katalan_2003 has hit the nail on the head as shall is used in orders and commands as the definitions in your dictionaries will enlighten you this is the case. I will share usage notes regarding this from my dictionary as observing people being adamant about something which they do not have knowledge of makes them appear deluded.

USAGE: The traditional rule is that when forming the future tense, shall should be used with I and we (I shall be late), while will should be used with you, he, she,, it and they (he will not be there) . However when telling someone what to do or showing determination this rule is reversed: will is used with I and we (I will not tolerate this) and shall is used with you, he, she, and they (you shall go to school). Nowadays people do not follow these rules so strictly and are more likely to use the shortened forms I'll , she'll etc, especially when speaking.

So now we all acknowledge the existence of shall and will and have accurate knowledge of their use we could learn how to use them if we don't already.

An example of using shan't (I shan't be late) An example of using won't (I won't tolerate this)

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