Episode Transcript

Won’t vs. Want

#8 | 2:43

Hey, it’s Hadar. And this is the Accent’s Way, your way to finding clarity, confidence, and freedom in English. And today we’re going to talk about the two words: Won’t versus Want. ‘Won’t’ as in “I won’t do it” and ‘Want’ as in “I want to do it”.

Okay. So as you can hear, both words are pronounced differently. Although I hear that non-native speakers tend to often pronounce both words the same – “I ‘waant’ do it” and “I ‘waant’ to do it”. All right? So let’s learn how to distinguish the two words. Now, obviously the sentence structure when you use both words is different, quite different. But also we want to make a clear distinction in pronunciation.

So let’s begin with a word “won’t” as in ‘will not’. The word begins with a W sound. So you bring your lips together – ‘w’, and then there is a long O vowel – O as in ‘go’ – ‘wo[w]nt’, ‘wo[w]nt’. Okay? ‘o[w]’ as in the letter O is pronounced in the alphabet. Now, notice it has two parts. You begin with an open ‘o’ sound and then you close it to an ‘oo’ sound. Think of it as if adding a ‘w’ sound after the ‘o’ – ‘ow’, ‘wown’t’. “I won’t do it”. “I won’t go there.” “I won’t be there.”

All right. Now, the word “want” is actually an open ‘aa’ sound – ‘waant’, ‘waant’. So it begins the same – ‘w’, ‘w’, but then instead of saying ‘wont’ I just drop my jaw, open it to an A as in ‘father’ vowel – ‘waant’. “I want to go there.” “I want to be there.” “I want it.” Want.

Won’t, alright: rounded lips, a long diphthong – ‘wow’, I close it to a ‘oo’ sound. Won’t – Want. “I won’t go” – “I want to go.” All right? Good. So practice these two words in context. Remember to take your time with a long vowel, especially for the “won’t”. And I’m sure you’ll be able to pronounce it perfectly.

All right. So that’s it for today. Have a wonderful week and I’ll see you in the next video. Bye.