won't do

British English FORMAL
This page is about the conversational phrase won't do


You can say this if you think a situation, or someone's behaviour, isn't good enough or isn't acceptable.

For example

  • "You've failed another exam, and it simply won't do. You've got to try harder."

  • "Being seen with that boy just won't do, David. He's not like us."
    "But he's my best friend, Mum. And I'm learning all this stuff about Africa."


This is typically used in British English but may be used in other varieties of English too.

Quick Quiz

Her teacher said, "This just won't do, Anna." He was saying that

a. she had nothing more to do

b. her work wasn't good enough

c. he didn't believe she'd done it

Contributor: Matt Errey