3

I already apologize for taking such ugly sentence but I have no other choice as that’s what brought the question to my mind. Just read this in Urban Dictionary:

I don't know what he ate, but man, he blew up the bathroom! You won't want to go in there for a while.

1st, I know it’s possible to put “don’t” in place of “won’t” here, but don’t know how that would affect the meaning.

2nd, is using “in” optional here or it adds some meaning to the sentence?

3

For what concerns the first part of your question (won't want vs. don't want), you may find useful this answer.
In there is referred to a closed place, e.g. a bathroom; there would not be appropriate (see @J.R.'s comment below).

7
  • 2
    I was thinking along those same lines. We'd eliminate the preposition in if we were talking about, say, an entire city, e.g.: The Springfield sewage plant blew up yesterday – you don't want to go there for awhile! But for a single room in a house, it's go in there, not go there. We might also use up or down, depending on the context: There's flooding in the basement; you don't want to go down there right now. – J.R. Feb 2 '16 at 10:09
  • @J.R. Thanks for your intervention. I'll edit my answer quoting your comment, if you don't mind. – mrnld Feb 2 '16 at 10:22
  • 1
    @mrnld I checked the link you provided and feel "don't want" would add some prohibition to the meaning, "You don't want to take it" suggests the person doesn't want the other one to take it. but you "won't want / wouldn't want" suggests it's all the person's choice to do it or not and also is a more polite way. Don't know how correct is my impression. Thanks, J.R.'s comment made the 2nd part very clear to me. – Ardy Feb 2 '16 at 12:56
  • 1
    @Ardy I have the very same impression - at least, this is the shade I get as a native Italian speaker. – mrnld Feb 2 '16 at 13:17
  • 1
    @mrnld Seems we might have a wrong idea. U can follow the comments of the other answer below. – Ardy Feb 2 '16 at 16:14
2

Won't is a contracted form of will not. Don't is a contracted form of do not.

You do not want to take that course. Trust me, you will find his lectures vague and rambling.

The first statement, in the present tense, you do not want, is a statement cast as present fact. The second, in the future tense, you will find, is a statement cast as a prediction.

You do not want to go in there.

You will not want to go in there.

These statements are admonitory; they warn another person what not to want.

It seems to me that the do-form is the more emphatic of the two.

go in = enter

go = walk/travel to a destination; also, in the context of the original question, to urinate or move one's bowels. Get outta my way, I really gotta go!

So, in that sense where go means to answer one of nature's calls:

You don't want to go (in) there; you want to go somewhere else. There's another up on the second floor.

3
  • It would be nice if you look at the last comment I made in the previous answer and give us your idea about it, otherwise, would have to repeat the same question here.Though your answer already makes me think my impression is correct. It would be of great value to hear your thought as you're a native speaker n have good backgrounds. – Ardy Feb 2 '16 at 15:43
  • 1
    @Ardy: Both forms are admonition, not prohibition. The don't form is more emphatic, but still not a prohibition. Prohibition would be "Don't go in there!" or "Don't you go in there!", word-order inverted, and without "want to". – Tᴚoɯɐuo Feb 2 '16 at 15:47
  • I'm not sure if I used the word prohibition in the right place and made myself understood. So I wanna reframe it again if it's ok. I meant when the do-form is used, isn't there a slight imply that the speaker does prefer the action don't be taken? ( I mean for their sake not as it doesn't favor the other person) if it's not so then both me and @mrnld had a wrong feeling about it. – Ardy Feb 2 '16 at 16:12
2

I think that most people would use "won't" if they thought that there was a possibility of the person doing it in the future. But if a person looked like they were about to do it, most people would probably say "don't" do it.

Whether to say "don't" or "won't" to another person is partially dependent on the people involved. Saying to someone else you "won't" want to do something is more formal than saying to someone else you "don't" want to do something. However this is not done by all people in all areas due to differences in the formality of how they speak to each other. For example, people I used to be around who knew each other well wouldn't think twice about saying "don't" to each other, but now I am around more formal people who may think that is rude, even among immediate family.

1
  • Thanks, coals for demonstrating the usage of it. Supposing you are a native speaker, I'd like to ask you what I asked others above (present in comments) Does using "don't" imply that the speaker prefers the action not to be taken? or the 2 forms possible don't have any extra meaning behind their usage places? – Ardy Feb 2 '16 at 19:08
1

Ardy - I'd like to butt in as a native speaker. To me, use of "don't" implies certainty, i.e. "You don't want to go in there, because I know for a fact that you will not be happy if you do." "Won't" implies a degree of uncertainty: "You won't want to go in there (unless you are a normal human and not one of those freaky people who likes that sort of thing)." If the speaker were expressing a preference, the "you" would be dropped: "Don't go in there" or "Please don't go in there".

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.