Wont vs. Want – What’s the Difference?

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

Is the word wont missing an apostrophe? You’d think so, but it’s not the contraction won’t without proper punctuation. It actually has its own meaning and is sometimes confused with the word want. So, I’ll explain the differences between all of these words and show you how to properly use each one in a sentence.

Wont vs. Want: Let’s Compare

Wont vs. Want Whats the Difference

When you want something, it means you desire it or feel you need it. It can be used to describe the way you would like to have an item. It can also refer to how you wish for something to happen.

  • I want pie.
  • I want you to read this book.

The word wont is classified as an adjective, and we use it to describe someone accustomed to a certain behavior. It’s like saying loves to have or love to do.

  • My dog is wont for a good treat.

Is It Wanting or Wonting?

It entirely depends on the context. The continuous verb wanting should be used when you want to describe the act of needing something, but it hasn’t happened yet or it’s continuing on.

  • I’ve been wanting to try this new place for years.

Wonting is not a very common term, but it’s used in a similar sense in regard to how it’s the continuous verb form of wont. It basically means habituating or informing. But not all dictionaries accept it as an actual word, so try and avoid using it.

Want vs. Won’t

Now we come to the word often confused with wont—the contraction won’t, a word created by combining will and not. As I mentioned above, the word want means to desire something, someone, or an outcome.

How Do You Spell Want?

The verb want is spelled w-a-n-t, which refers to a need or wish for something.

Want Examples in a Sentence

  • I really want to travel the world to experience new cultures and taste new foods.
  • My daughter wants to learn how to play the piano, so we got her one for Christmas.
  • Do you want to join us for dinner this Friday?
  • We want to adopt an elder dog from the local shelter and make his last few years good.
  • Jack wants to become a professional athlete someday.

Sentence Examples Using Wont

Wont vs. Want Whats the Difference 1
  • Our lazy cat is wont to curl up by the living room window in a sunny spot.
  • As a teacher, Janice was wont to assign challenging projects to her students to test them better.
  • The village elders are wont to share their wisdom with the rest of the village.
  • My husband is wont to take a long walk after dinner every evening, and I despise it.
  • The plants in this desert region are wont to thrive in arid conditions.

Remember the Difference!

When it comes to distinguishing want from wont, try your best to remember their respective meanings and different spellings. Want deals with desire, and wont concerns habits and customs. If you can hold on to those quick facts, you’ll never get them mixed up again!

Enjoyed reading about this homophone? Check out some others we covered: