Which Sentence construction is correct ? Why? Also, what is the exact meaning using did not and would not ?

A ) He did not want the young man's future to be spoilt and only wanted to ensure that he didn't repeat his conduct.

B ) He did not want the young man's future to be spoilt and only wanted to ensure that he won't repeat his conduct.

According to me sentences B is correct because it ensure the stalker' s future action of not to repeat the misconduct . But in actual article it used didn't.


  • 'Won't' is short for 'will not', and therfore the wrong tense. 'Wouldn't' would work too.
    – bukwyrm
    May 30, 2018 at 15:35
  • you mean: wouldn't repeat, not won't in B).
    – Lambie
    May 30, 2018 at 15:35

2 Answers 2


Let's see if I can contribute to this thread. In terms of construction there's no mistake, none of the sentences are incorrect, again, taking about construction. However, if we take into account the function of the sentence or what I want to express, then sentence B is not correct for the suitable tense to use is WOULD. Is that what you want to know? Else, we can express past situations using WOULD except if we talk about states. For instance: We would go to the movies every now and then. ✓ They would talk for hours. ✓ They would live in Sidney. X

  • What is the use of " did not" , if the father expecting his future conduct to be good?
    – user4084
    May 30, 2018 at 17:16

B is wrong, as others have commented: backshift says it has to be wouldn't.

But B corrected, and A are both not only grammatical, but idiomatic.

When corrected, they have didn't and wouldn't. If you take out the back-shift from reported speech, they become doesn't and won't. Either will do, because either can be used to express the future.

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