Woman: We separated two months ago. And it was not my decision.

Friend: I'm so sorry. What happened? Did he find someone else?

Woman: No.

Friend: So why does he not want to be with you anymore?

Is the last sentence phrased naturally in this context? What would you native speakers say?

(I tried searching "why does he not want to be with" on Google and it only had 6 hits)

  • Looks fine to me.
    – rcook
    Dec 19, 2020 at 12:59
  • 1
    I only got 4 hits for "why does he not want to be with". But I got "About 30,500 results" for "why doesn't he want to be with". I agree the contracted form is somewhat more likely, but surely not that much! Whatever - as @rcook says, it's fine. Dec 19, 2020 at 13:08
  • 1
    In negative interrogatives in speech, English favors contracted forms.
    – Lambie
    Sep 7, 2022 at 22:08

1 Answer 1


Both "why does he not want to" and "why doesn't he want to" are grammatically fine. However, I find this negative question a little awkward. It might help if you rewrite it to a simple question without negation.

Why is he splitting up with you then?

Why would he break up with you?

Are you guys just growing/drifting apart?

  • 1
    I don't find it at all awkward. Those suggested questions are different.
    – Colin Fine
    May 12, 2023 at 14:10

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