Never miss a beat with MailOnline's latest news for women. “Oh–I feel badly about his mother dying.” Would these rocket engineer’s say “I feel goodly about his mother’s recovery.”? The word ain't is a contraction for am not, is not, are not, has not, and have not in the common English language vernacular. At worst, it gets stigmatized for being “ignorant” or “low-class.” At best, it’s considered a no-no in formal writing. Ain't definition is - am not : are not : is not. We can find ain’t (and its related, historic forms like an’t) in the mouths of upper-class characters in literature, for instance. Now, put THAT into the dictionary! Tell me why, ain't nothing but a heartache Tell me why, ain't nothing but a mistake Tell me why, I never wanna hear you say I want it that way Am I your fire Your one desire Yes I know it's too late But I want it that way Tell me why, ain't nothing but a heartache Tell me why, ain't nothing but a mistake Tell me why, I never wanna hear you say Absolutely. I wouldn’t say that “ain’t” is the gateway slang word, but that the issue of improper grammar is the result of a far more fundamental problem of people not bothering to learn and understand the language they use on a rational level, instead being content to rely on our human faculties of pattern recognition to pick up on the way language is COMMONLY used. Describing an orgasm comes much easier to me than writing that word. Or am I wrong? If this is not a correct word, what in the world can I use instead? “I ain’t, he isn’t, they aren’t.” It was frowned upon because of wide misuse (he ain’t, they ain’t) and eventually deemed categorically improper, though it has always been a grammatically correct contraction for “am not”. Oh, you sneaky. What I do not understand is why you don’t allow “I ain’t” in place of “I’m not”. Although, it doesn’t really matter. Is it really a word? because there was a standard expression they could use: because there were standard forms for those: I pointed out that the usual “standard” form of “aren’t I” was not exactly grammatical. Cause it ain't wrong loving you At the end of the day You won't push me away No, it ain't wrong loving you [Verse 2] Don't care what you got Don't care what you're missin' You've got what I … I do hear “amn’t I” but that’s more likely just a colloquial thing where I live. We’ve used some in this article already. And the words “If it ain’t fun, you’re doing it wrong!” started playing over and over in my mind. Too flirty. A PYA-nist plays the pya-no ( 2 syllables)—and the peenist plays the —well ,—. Ain’t nothing wrong with that,” she said, also stretching “wrong” out a bit and intoning in a way sometimes referred to as a “drawl,” but which is also part of the Black English tool kit. I say since there aren’t two words (except I just learned the above article), that aint IS a word without the apostrophe by way of common usage, and knowledge. you’d better say ain’t I? Ain´t nothing wrong with ain´t. “Alligator” vs. “Crocodile”: Do You Know The Difference? You don’t hear “aren’t I” being used in speech very much either. It is actually completely wrong because the twidiot never read the actual article. Redefine your inbox with Dictionary.com updates! My remark is a remark on the statement below: I have been known to say and/or write “Am I not?” and to feel quite confident in knowing that my subject and verb match. My intention is just to highlight the fact that we use it intentionally in order to be more emphatic. Also, in a vein different from writing, that is “pronunciation”— why do the pretentious pronounce “piano player” as Peenist?—when the only pronunciation is PYA-nist. What’s all the fuss over ain’t about? Do Wrong and his side-kick Deacon Hot Hands get paid. So, I must say I probably agree with y’al..ooops, you all. Ain’t is not yet accepted as Standard English, but it is perfectly acceptable in social conversations and in written dialogues—inside quotation marks. Did you catch them? Well if it’s a tag question like; I’m late. Ain't is one of the most informal verb contractions in English, and its use in formal contexts may be criticized because it is associated with careless speech. How to use ain't in a sentence. 😉 If you know you’re using it correctly, good for you. When they recovered their composure I went on to explain that they could use it in only one context. I use it daily, and I ain´t from any hicktown either. Usually only country people use it which you are if your from the south. Ain’t is a perfectly valid word, but today, ain’t is considered nonstandard. I know it’s not correct, but sometimes it’s good just to break the rules. Or am I wrong? What does ain’t even stand for? I’m intrigued reading this – coming from England (Midlands), I hear “Aren’t I?” much more than “Ain’t” …. Subscribers get access to our archives with 800+ interactive exercises! =P In fact, it’s hard to imagine these sayings without ain’t. My eccentric rule had the effect of making my students think about the verbs is and are. “Oh–I feel badly about his mother dying.” Would these rocket engineer’s say “I feel goodly about his mother’s recovery.”? Is ain't a word? in questions. . You will improve your English in only 5 minutes per day, guaranteed! While many snub ain’t, we have no problem with many other not contractions in English. I pointed out that the usual “standard” form of “aren’t I” was not exactly grammatical. The Dictionary.com Word Of The Year For 2020 Is …. At any rate, if it’s only a gateway to satanism with a small “s”, sounds like a party to me. Yes, ain’t was once historically acceptable in the colloquial language of Victorian lords and ladies! Jeanie’s reply (#7) has always been my understanding as well. Are we gonna get anywhere here? Where Did The Strange Expression “Hair Of The Dog” Come From? source: bart’s chalkboard. . We have haven’t, hasn’t, weren’t, shouldn’t, and don’t. Umm…Philip; the instrument “piano” (as opposed to the direction on sheet music) has three syllables (“pee-AN-oh”, not “pya-no”), and the person who plays one is properly called a “PEE-an-ist” (again, three syllables — not a “pee-nist”). Do Wrong Ain't Right is a 1990's urban television evangelism con where a daily inspirational show, "DoWrong In The A.M." is the launch pad for unbelievable shenanigans where Rev. Explore celebrity trends and tips on fashion, style, beauty, diets, health, relationships and more. Unless used intentionally to add colloquial flavor, ain't is unacceptable because its use is considered nonstandard. High brow it ain’t.’. Want to improve your English in five minutes a day? No I ain't Aye shawty hold up.. you acting way too childish shawty grow up (Whateva) Always talking bout how you gonna beat some hoe up (I will) The word has been derided by usage authorities throughout its history, and it’s still considered unacceptable in formal writing, but it has a secure place in spoken English. And once upon time, we had hain’t for has not and have not—much like ain’t. But, I have to be contrary I guess, ain’t would be a 100% usable word if constructing dialogue for any number of our fellow citizens, in thousands of areas across the country. It ain't nuttin wrong with you Me and you (we do it nasty, nasty) [Warren G] I once knew a girl named LaShonda short little cute thing with a pinky diamond ring she was iceless my game was so priceless givin her a facial I was G'd up from the feed up pushin the bent with the midnight tint I’m loving the above post by Philip Dragonetti. Fall Out Boy has a song "This ain't a scene it's an arms race" and since they use the word it should be ok, right? Once is enough. Phil. After all, you guys are saying that it is Ok to use it or not? However, I would (and often do) say “am I not?”. Man No I ain't. What is the origin of this particular construction? I’m awaiting so many arguments against that sentence. It can also mean have not, has not, do not, does not, or did not. 🙂. I have a problem with the last post that represents my main problem with the word “ain’t” in common usage. And it made us all realize how seldom anyone has occasion to say ain’t I? He’s not too happy about it, and he’s venting his frustrations ahead of Sunday’s kickoff in a key NFC South showdown. Let’s break down this controversial—but very misunderstood—term. There’s isn’t, didn’t, wasn’t, and aren’t. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. What Is Your Choice For The 2020 Word Of The Year? Would anyone ever say “are I not?”. anyway. . The development of ain't for the various forms of to be not, to have not, and to do not occurred independently, at different times. To do otherwise would come off as non-realistic, especially to my readers who live daily surrounded by the characters I remember. Ain’t is ok if you’re being ironic/knowing/smug. I’m sorry if I caused more confusion. grammaticality etymology double-negation negative-polarity-items. Inside of a ring or out, ain't nothing wrong with going down. The usage of ain't for the forms of to be not was established by the mid-18th century, and for the forms of to have not by the early 19th century. Also, what is wrong with double negatives? Then again, your reasoning for disallowing the other uses of “ain’t” seem not to be concerned with the fact that “ain’t” is “am not”, which is inappropriate entirely for those instances, which I think is more important than the existence of alternative phrasings. Ain’t apparently begins as amn’t, a contraction for am not, which you can still hear in Ireland and Scotland today. The Random House Dictionary points out that although “ain’t” is considered improper or slang, it actually arose as an alternative to two other contractions—one clunky … If my story revolves around locals, then to be authentic I would be forced to offend the grammar police and use good ole ain’t. Enter your email for word fun in your inbox every day. I’m writing my second novel, and I still cringe every time I used the word wanna. While a lot of people consider ain’t improper, it’s a very regular and legitimate part of many forms of English, including in Black English (AAVE). I just think it’s ok depending on the situation. Brackets vs. Parentheses: How to Use Them, 10 Tips For Writing A Meaningful Holiday Card. Should they not say, “I am not”, also? That’s why it’s important to distinguish between being understood, e.g., “the reason why” and “I ain’t got no money,” and speaking and writing clearly, concisely, and correctly, e.g., Hilariously, one of my pet peeves is the use of apostrophes in plurals. Double negatives are taught as beeing wrong and that’s exactly the reason why we use it so often: just to have someone’s attention. You dirty. I feel that language should always strive to provide a single correct word for a single meaning. Which Turkey Came First: The Bird Or The Nation? . To clarify the distinction, consider the expression ain't. He says stuff like ” He put his hand in his pocket to grab his gun.” What’s wrong with “He put his hand into his pocked to grab his gun.”? I feel like apologizing. Man No I ain't. Booklover is right when he states that the correct idea for ‘I ain’t got no choice’ is ‘I HAVE no choice’. Another pet peeve of mine are the pretentious people who say Is it that bad? it’s right so stop saying am I not? Ain’t is a perfectly valid word, but today, ain’t is considered nonstandard. I agree with you allowed use of “ain’t”. The whole ain’t thing is like a gateway slang word into a world of double negatives and improper tenses and satanism. Jeanie’s reply (#7) has always been my understanding as well. They may be redundant, but there is no inherent logical error or risk of ambiguity in them that comes immediately to my mind. Yet taken strictly as a part of speech, the term functions perfectly well as a verb. “Are I not” is usually used as “Am I not” in my studies. It was a “word” because of common usage regardless of the speaker’s intentions. Back when I taught junior high school English I used to tell my students that they were allowed to use the word “ain’t” in their speaking and writing. by Joe Váradi “Don’t use double negatives — they are illogical” is advice you may have gotten at some point in grade school, from a well-meaning teacher or parent. Ain’t is an extremely informal (some people would say incorrect) word for isn’t, am not, or aren’t. In the translation “I ain’t got no choice” the poster claims that it really means “I got no choice” but really it means “I have no choice”. I'm not American or English so I don't know, but every time I write "ain't" it comes as a typo? At worst, it gets stigmatized for being “ignorant” or “low-class.” At best, it’s considered a no-no in formal writing. For you ESL speakers, “ain’t” is one of those English shibboleths that one uses at the risk of being thought an ignoramus. The word “piano” (pya-no) does exist, though not in reference to the instrument, but there’s no such word as “PYA-nist”. A key contributor on special teams and one of the team’s more explosive pass-catchers, Mickens appears to be angry at the NFL’s rules and protocols surrounding COVID-19, after both he and fellow Bucs wide receiver Cyril Grayson were placed on the list earlier this week. A centuries-old mistake, like “the reason why” (eight centuries) or “ain’t” (not yet three centuries), is still a mistake. I have rarely been know to say “ain’t I?” unless I’m feeling the absurdity of the situation. It’s awful and will make you sound like Dick van Dyke in Mary Poppins. There is no statute of limitations for grammar or diction errors. Um …. It’s not over yet, in fact the fight is very much on. No I'm ain't. When I was young we used the word “aint” and we knew what it meant. Alice2: I occasionally use “y’all”, when it’s important to distinguish between singular and plural “you” (the Right Thing, I suppose, would be to use “thou” for the singular, but that makes me want to use archaic verb forms as well, and makes people laugh at me… :)), but I ain’t never used “ain’t”. It's not a word, but a contraction - and the first part of the contraction (ai) doesn't stand for any word in the English language. Don’t you agree? All Right Reserved, 50 Rhetorical Devices for Rational Writing. With Lester Bibbs, Tobin Costen, Side 2 Side. I would never say “are I not?” because I would never say “I are…”. You'll also get three bonus ebooks completely free. Later, while still very young, I learned that, “ain’t” aint a word and the reasoning behind it. 7 Tips For Compiling And Creating Writing Samples That Stand Out, Discover The Origins Of These Cooking Tool Names. It wasn’t signed and to this day I’m not sure who left it but it’s something I’ve clung to in the years since. Pretentious people annoy the heck out of me. It is, however, accepted in folk and popular song lyrics, show titles, direct quotations, and fictional dialogue. I have a feeling it will soon be added to the dictionary. Country or region United States I say “ain’t” and yes it is incorrect English. The Rev. Tygern Broken Sticks And Hearts ℗ BLYR20 Released on: 2020-11-26 Auto-generated by YouTube. Ain’t wasn’t always so looked down upon, though. I wasn’t able to find anything online related to the origins of this incorrect usage. I took a leap and quit, and it paid off. Saying ain’t no sounds incorrect to me because it is a double negative. But, ain’t became associated with lower-class characters (as in the works of Charles Dickens) and was treated as a vulgar form to be avoided. The matter is relevant or not? The guy biked 6 hours to the college to register for classes but the dorms didn't open for … I’m more confused now. In some dialects ain't is also used as a contraction of do not, does not, and did not. Is it “bad English”? After having read Emma’s comment above, I remembered hearing local English kids using both “I ain’t” and “I i’nt” – as if it had stemmed from “I isn’t”. Here are some examples of ain’t as a contraction of am/are/is not: Some examples of ain’t as a contraction of have/has/do/does/did not: Outside of regional and dialectical forms of English, ain’t also appears in a great many expressions (not to mention in important titles, from “Ain’t I a Woman?” to “Ain’t That a Shame”). Directed by D. Mark Grieshop. The problem is that the actor who played him in It Ain't Half Hot Mum, the long-running 1970s sitcom about a regimental concert party, was a white … Too flirty. But, if I write a rant about it, no doubt there will be some other grammatical error present…. ‘Ain’t I’ should never be used. “I ain’t, he isn’t, they aren’t.” It was frowned upon because of wide misuse (he ain’t, they ain’t) and eventually deemed categorically improper, though it has always been a grammatically correct contraction for “am not”. I just feel that it makes more sense as a contraction of “am I not?” than “aren’t I?” does. (If we’re only to phrase any given thought in particular manners dictated by convention rather than rule, poets should be quickly out of function). Don’t we? Dave, I’m really sorry to ask you such a dumb question, but I can’t help it: Why did my sentence baffle you? We choose to use them to shape our speech with the exact level of emphasis ( now I’m afraid of using this word) we intent. No I ain't You sneaky. You were a hundred times more likely to hear “ain’t” than “aren’t” in everyday conversation. Recently I was reading a book by Baldacci—and he seems to have dropped the word ‘into” from the English language. Ain’t is recorded in the early 1700s, with amn’t found a century before. It's staying down that's wrong. No I'm ain't. I ain’t got nothing else to add but a little detail: “Ain’t” may sound really bad for some listeners when it comes to redundancy: I ain’t got nothing = I got nothing. Ain’t I? It sends the wrong message to the young people of this nation that you have to stay in line or you’re not black enough . Thanks for your very interesting work. I grew up in Hicksville, USA. I assume it is a matter of emphasis. We don’t say ‘I didn’t do nothing’ or ‘I did anything’. Would anyone ever say “are I not?””. Ain’t is also influenced by aren’t, the contraction for are not recorded in the late 1600s. I think, also, by saying, “grammar is not the matter,” they meant, “many sentences which include ‘ain’t’ would still be grammatically incorrect without it.” That is what I gleaned from their examples, anyway. Booklover: I thought they were being facetious. Ain’t Ain’t is a centuries-old contraction meaning am not, is not, are not, has not, or have not. I ain’t gonna stop using the word “ain’t” just for some people who ironically think they’re being good grammatical pedants by insisting on its illegitimacy. Being a redneck was a badge of honor many wore. I consider it a judg(e)ment call. We don’t say ‘He doesn’t knows’ nor ‘I did slept’. We ain’t joking: ain’t is incredibly versatile, a kind of one-stop-shop for saying something isn’t, didn’t, or wasn’t. “Joe Biden told every single one of us we ‘ain’t black’ . Or am I beeing naive once more? It is just that you´ve gotta know when and how to use it. I just felt like sowing a little discord today. Enough, Be mindful that judging someone’s use of ain’t as “wrong” can be a very socially loaded act, to say the least. Copyright © 2020 Daily Writing Tips . 5 min read. Try replacing them with their formal counterpoint and see if they still keep their charm. No I'm ain't You be creeping. Ain’t is a contraction that can mean am not, are not, and is not. You might hear ain’t in songs, like Bon Jovi’s “This ain’t a love song” (This isn’t a love song). It can even mean There isn’t / There aren’t like in the lyric “Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone” (There isn’t any sunshine when she’s gone) Y’all makes more grammatical sense, given that it means “you all”. We also had bain’t, also like ain’t and based on be(en) not. Grammar is not the matter. DoWrong spends his days gambling and getting his groove on. Ain’t nothing but a fart hey, ain’t nothing but a meat steak” “Tummy why? You dirty. They think they are being “educated’ by saying “aren’t I”–not realizing that they just failed a question on an IQ test. aren’t I? It is used a lot in songs, books, movies,etc. @ibooklover123: But with ‘ain’t’, oddly enough, we do. Slang & Informal English E-Book. “They could, however, say or write Maybe I’m a hick– I’m not denying it!– but I see nothing wrong with the sentence, “What are y’all talking about?”, But on the serious note.. amazing way of showing how and when to use it or not to 🙂. The statement, “I assume it is a matter of emphasis,” baffles me, but not to the degree which “freshness” baffles me in toilet tissue commercials. I personally use the because I am from the south. I consider it a judg(e)ment call. If the purpose of your communication is to communicate your ideas, you still succeed. I never knew there was supposed to be an apostrophe and that it was actually meant to be a contraction of two words. As in ‘watch Katie and Peter on TV last night? It should always be ‘aren’t I’. That said, I have memories of sitting on the top deck of a bus as a teenager & hearing two younger kids in front of me discussing the houses that we were passing: “That’s a posh house, ain’t it” said the first, “you mean, ‘innit'” said the second firmly! I also say “y’all”. Say it ain’t so: Say it isn’t so? No I'm ain't You be creeping. I’m not encouraging anyone to say “ain’t” in any context. My linguist cousin-in-law says the word “ain’t” evolved with Scottish immigrants who tried to stick with the structure of their language when translating and tried to say “am’nt.” It is rather awkward to have the m and n together like that, so ain’t evolved. My point was about the repeated information which is unnecessary in English. If you understand there are people ignorant of its correct usage who will consider you uneducated for using it, even better. Get a subscription and start receiving our writing tips and exercises daily! There’s also can’t, won’t, and wouldn’t. Lots of expressions we use daily are ‘wrong’ according to grammar. This avoidance is apparently why we say the ungrammatical-seeming aren’t I? I ain’t got no choice = I got no choice. I say “ain’t” in conversation. Absolutely. Another pet peeve is people who say ” Let’s try and acheive a perfect score on the test.”—when they should say “Let’s try TO acheive a perfect score on the test.”. Technically, it's improper English usage.