will not = won't, why?
  • Taking an interest in words;
  • Understanding where words come from; 
  • Knowing the history of how English spelling developed;

are all great ways to improve and learn spelling. Just knowing why spelling is the way it is means English spelling won't drive you crazy with all the questions and frustrations.

Let's look at one word which can drive people crazy - won't.

Ever wondered why the short form/the contracted form of will not is won't and not willn't?

Watch the video about it or read on.


We have do /don't, did/didn't, are /aren't, is/ isn't etc. but will / won't!

It's all to do with the origins of where will comes from and the different pronunciation of it.

comes from the Old English/ Anglo-Saxon word wyllan, which came
from Dutch willen and German wollen. Some English people used to use
will /will not and some used woll /woll not depending on their region and dialect.

We also had wynnot, woonot, wo'not, we'n't and willn't

Woll not was also contracted down to wonnot in the 16th Century, and from
there to won't.

So we have two dialects mixed together! Will and won't.

Be careful of the apostrophe in won't! It should be there to replace the 'o' in not.

There you have it - a brief history of won't.

For more on The Reasons Why English Spelling is so Weird and Wonderful click here and check my ebook and you get a bonus audio version too.