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See also: shant and sha'n't


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From shall +‎ -n't; contraction of shalln't or shall not, historically via shannot.




  1. (Britain, colloquial; archaic in US, Canada; dated in Australia, New Zealand) Contraction of shall not (negative auxiliary[1]).
    I shan't be coming back after the way you've treated me today.
    • 1922, Rex [Ellingwood] Beach, “chapter XXIV”, in Flowing Gold, New York, N.Y.: Grosset & Dunlap Publishers, by arrangement with Harper & Brothers, →OCLC, page 290:
      That's not a threat, sir, for they have played fair with me, and I sha'n't sacrifice a penny of their money—unless they force me to do so. But—I'm in control. I'm sitting pretty. They can't unseat me, and I warn them not to try.

Usage notes[edit]

Still used in colloquial British English. In North America, Australia and New Zealand it is rarely used, and may not be understood. In North America, like shall, it may also be considered formal or pompous, or used to parody British English speakers.

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See also[edit]


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