16

Are these sentences different or same?

  1. They don't let you smoke in here.

  2. They won't let you smoke in here.

Also, is it necessary to use in in the sentences?
Would the meaning of sentences change if I do not use "in"? Can't I just say "They don't let you smoke here."?

  • I didn't understand your example on the Won't. The Won't. > My classmates won't follow the rules. This suggests that there exists effort directed towards making the classmates follow rules. The phrasing gives an implication that there's an opposing force that's trying to behave your classmates. what does exists effort mean in your sentence? I like to comment, but 50 reputation error coming for me. – Mario Bradyn Jun 3 '16 at 4:14
15

I partially disagree with the two other answers (as of the time of this writing).

The Don't.

Let's use a slightly different example sentence to make the nuances clearer:

My classmates don't follow the rules.

This means that the classmates have a general habit of not following the rules. It's form of time-agnostic knowledge; it's possible that you're now attending another school and talking about ex-classmates.

The Won't.

My classmates won't follow the rules.

This suggests that there exists effort directed towards making the classmates follow rules. The phrasing gives an implication that there's an opposing force that's trying to behave your classmates.

Your example.

They don't let you smoke in here.

This is general; the speaker has probably deduced that from a no-smoking sign or similar.

They won't let you smoke in here.

This would imply that the speaker has probably actually tried to smoke once and they didn't let him. You might end up getting the implication that he tried to convince them ('oh, just this one cigarette'), which is the effort we mentioned in our conceptualization.

Note: this is a pretty small and nuanced difference; nobody will get confused if you use them interchangeably, but it does come quite naturally for native speakers.

Lastly: the In.

Simple:

It was getting crazy and hot in here.

This is localized; it was probably getting crazy in a room, hall, or some other enclosed 'cozy' place.

It was getting violent here.

This is more general and can refer to any type of place that is more likely abstractly-bordered-and-contained than having brick-and-mortar walls; think countries and nations, school campuses, streets, etc.

  • Great explanation. I’m finally beginning to understand differences between don’t and won’t. – EnglishLearner Mar 20 '13 at 19:08
  • +1 Good explanation on "in". It implies some sort of definite, confined (in some way, by walls, barricades, etc.) area, whether or not it's completely enclosed (i.e., it could be a courtyard). Without it, "here" is a hazy notion, more approximate in what it encloses, and could even encompass a small room. You would usually use "in here" talking about a room, and just "here" for an open field. – Phil Perry Jun 20 '14 at 14:36
-1

Another way of speaking can also be

You can't smoke in here.

Now, referring to the terms in your question.

  1. They don't let you smoke in here.
  2. They won't let you smoke in here.

The difference arises when talking about volition. In the first case, you may have been caught smoking and they might decide to let you go. On the other hand, if it is won't in the example, then you strictly are NOT allowed to smoke.

The usage of can't is like a request regarding the action.

As to your question regarding the usage of in in the sentences; by using in here you have restricted your domain to a particular region. If you just use here instead, then you are referring to nearby areas too.

For eg. suppose I'm using the following inside a room:

  • Don't you smoke in here.
  • Don't you smoke here.

In the first sentence, I am restricting my smoke-free area to the particular room and the people can go outside the room for smoking. But, in second case I have a larger area covered and it depends upon the understanding between the listener and speaker.

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