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What is the difference between the phrase "They won't let me go." and "They don't let me go." Is the latter correct?

marked as duplicate by Ronan, Hellion, choster, ermanen, Matt Gutting Apr 22 '15 at 15:18

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It's a difference of when the action takes place:

They don't let me go.

They do not let me go, at this moment, as we speak.

They won't let me go.

They will not let me go. Not at this moment, but also not in the future.

Another example would be:

I don't do drugs.

At this moment, and in general, I do not use drugs.

I won't do drugs.

I will not use drugs in the future. Or possibly, I will not use drugs at a specific event in the future.

In practice, the two versions overlap quite a bit in meaning, and often one can be substituted for the other, even though there is a subtle difference in meaning.

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