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See also: dont and dönt


English Wikipedia has an article on:


From do +‎ -n't.

Depending on dialect, its use in the third-person singular may be from elision (in these dialects "does" is used when not in the negative) or from not using -s to mark the third-person singular at all.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /dəʊnt/, [dəʊ̯nt̚], enPR: dōnt
  • (US) IPA(key): /doʊnt/, [dõʊ̯̃(ʔ)t̚], [doʊ̯n], [dõʔ]
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -əʊnt



  1. do not (negative auxiliary[1])
    • 1913, Joseph C[rosby] Lincoln, chapter VII, in Mr. Pratt’s Patients, New York, N.Y., London: D[aniel] Appleton and Company, →OCLC:
      “I don't know how you and the ‘head,’ as you call him, will get on, but I do know that if you call my duds a ‘livery’ again there'll be trouble. []
    • 1980, The Police, "Don't Stand So Close to Me", Zenyatta Mondatta, A&M Records:
      Don't stand, Don't stand so, Don't stand so close to me.
    • 1990, Dave Mustaine, "Take No Prisoners", Megadeth, Rust in Peace.
      Don't ask what you can do for your country / Ask what your country can do for you
    • 2022 September 16, Joe Biden, quotee, 0:00 from the start, in President Biden warns Vladimir Putin not to use nuclear weapons: "Don't. Don't. Don't."[1], CBS News, archived from the original on 16 September 2022[2]:
      Scott Pelley: As Ukraine succeeds on the battlefield, Vladimir Putin is becoming embarrassed and pushed into a corner, and I wonder Mr. President what you would say to him if he is considering using chemical or tactical nuclear weapons.
      Biden: Don't. Don't. Don't. It would change the face of war unlike anything since World War II.
    • For more quotations using this term, see Citations:don't.
  2. (nonstandard) does not
    • 1868, Louisa May Alcott, chapter 2, in Little Women:
      My mother knows old Mr. Laurence, but says he’s very proud and don’t like to mix with his neighbors.
    • 1971, Carol King, “So Far Away”, Tapestry, Ode Records:
      I sure hope the road don’t come to own me.
    • 2000, “Stan”, in Eminem (music), The Marshall Mathers LP:
      My girlfriend's jealous 'cause I talk about you twenty-four seven / But she don't know you like I know you, Slim, no one does / She don't know what it was like for people like us growing up / You gotta call me man, I'll be the biggest fan you'll ever lose
    • 2012, “She Don't Like the Lights”, in Justin Bieber (music), Believe:
      She don't like the flash, wanna keep us in the dark / She don't like the fame, baby when we're miles apart
    • 2013, “Highway Don't Care”, in Tim McGraw (music), Two Lanes of Freedom:
      The highway don't care
    • 2017, “Rico Acid”, Emily Blue (music):
      Love don't come easy, I know that it don't
    • For more quotations using this term, see Citations:don't.
  3. (African-American Vernacular) Used before an emphatic negative subject.
    Don’t nobody care.

Usage notes[edit]

In fixed expressions, especially in children's speech, this word can be used positively,[2] most particularly in the construction So don't I in response to a proud statement by the previous speaker.




  1. Stop!, Don't touch that!



don't (plural don'ts or don't's)

  1. Something that must not be done (usually in the phrase dos and don'ts).


Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Arnold M. Zwicky and Geoffrey K. Pullum, Cliticization vs. Inflection: English n’t, Language 59 (3), 1983, pp. 502–513
  2. ^ So Don't I