I have asked a similar question Use of "having" and 'with' in which @james k has given a very useful answer. While answering my question he has written the following sentences: "I'm going shopping with my friend" is ok. "I'm going shopping having my friend" is not. We would not say "I'm having my friend"

Can we say "don't" in the place of "wouldn't".? For example:

1.'we don't say "I'm having my friend" or "we don't want to say" I'm having my friend." Without changing the meaning of the sentence with "wouldn't?

3 Answers 3


Wouldn't (or would not) is the conditional form of won't (or will not).

Don't (or do not) is the negative form of do.

Essentially, the sentence

We wouldn't say "I'm having my friend".

has the same meaning as:

If we wanted to be grammatically correct, we would not say "I'm having my friend".

In this context, the first part of the statement (the "hypothetical" half) is left out because we tend to understand the conditional phrase even without the "if" part of the sentence. Based on the context of the sentence, we infer the part that is missing.

Using "don't" instead of "wouldn't" changes the meaning of the phrase, but not greatly. For example, you could say:

We don't say the phrase "I'm having my friend" in English by itself because it is grammatically wrong.

We don't say "I'm having my friend" unless we mean "I'm having my friend over for dinner" because it doesn't make sense otherwise.

There are other sentences you could make with that phrase—these are just examples. However, the important point to notice is that it changes the meaning from being a hypothetical situation to a factual statement. Also, "would" tends to have a polite or teaching suggestion tone to it, while "don't" is less polite. "Don't" can be harsh or simply factual based on the person's tone.

(This is based on my impressions of the two from English-speaking Canada.)


would contains hidden "if". So in your sentence, (We would not say "I'm having my friend") means (We would not say "I'm having my friend", if you write the sentence like that).

but if you use don't, (We don't say "I'm having my friend") means (we never say "I'm having my friend")


We would not say "I'm having my friend"

"would" is used for an imaginary situation, most the times after an "if" clause.

If we wanted to go shopping with our friends, we would not say "I'm having my friend".

However, it means the same "we don't say 'I'm having my friend' in such a situation.

we don't say "I'm having my friend"

It's correct, and it states a fact like "We don't say "moon is a start"". It means that sentence is incorrect in English.

we don't want to say" I'm having my friend.

It doesn't mean that "I'm having my friend" is incorrect or not. It just say we don't want to say this sentence for whatever reason. for example we don't like to say that.

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