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  1. #21
    e2e4 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: when should I do "ain't"

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I acknowledge that it can be for "has/have not," as it is in "You ain't seen nothing yet."

    That doesn't mean it can be dropped into place anywhere that "have not" would be used.

    I will have not seen him for six months by the time his ship returns.
    I will ain't seen him -- NO!

    This really is the last thing I'll say in this thread, so feel free to continue without me.
    This is a pretty good explanation now. Thanks Barb_D. Many other posts were of no use for me.

    In addition I would be very sorry if you really give up of this topic.

  2. #22
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: when should I do "ain't"

    One difficulty to bear in mind, if you do want to use "ain't", is that non-standard formations tend to occur not singly, or in random combinations, but in restricted compatible clusters. They also tend to require a certain accent and intonation.

    For instance, a modern "east London" use of "ain't" would tend to be supported by double negatives, the use of "was" instead of "were", a particular accent, etc., while the 18th century "aristocratic" use would have had an entirely different cluster of accompanying formulations.

    If you use a form such as "ain't" in isolation, therefore, among standard speech components, and with a non-native accent, it won't sound natural or impressive: quite the contrary.

    It's a little like cloth caps and gaiters, in that respect.

    You had better let me know whom of native English speakers use it.
    "whom" > "who" (as the pronoun here is the subject of "use", not the object of "know").

    Best wishes,

    MrP

    Not a professional ESL teacher.

  3. #23
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    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: when should I do "ain't"

    Quote Originally Posted by e2e4 View Post
    This is a pretty good explanation now. Thanks Barb_D. Many other posts were of no use for me.
    In addition I would be very sorry if you really give up of this topic.
    Well, e2e4, you seem to be getting there. At least, I hope you are.

    Anybody who claims that we must believe everything that people such as bhaisahab and Barb_D say simply because they are UE moderators is an unthinking b#***#. I am fairly confident that bhai and Barb would agree with me on this.

    However, I (personally) feel that when non-native speakers and/or non-teachers participate in this forum they should think for a minute or two before summarily dismissing the opinions of native speakers and informed non-native speakers with years of experience of teaching and/or writing and/or studying the language.

    And, rather than just producing a dictionary or book on grammar that appears to say something different as 'proof' that UE members responding to questions are wrong, consider the possibilities that:

    1. another entry in the same source may cast doubt on the entry you have produced;
    2. the source you have chosen may be simply an internet 'authority' created by Stanislav Bronski to pass the time of day;
    3. the UE member you are questioning has possibly read what you are producing, and dozens of other books, and has given his/her answers after considering all the evidence.

    Speaking purely personally, I am delighted when somebody can come up with something that contradicts what I have said. It forces me to re-examine my views, reject beliefs that are unfounded, and justify the beliefs that I hold. However, if (in answer to a simple question about a book on a table) I say, " Book is a noun...", I am not happy when the next message gives a link to a website showing book as a verb, with the gleeful implication that I have made a mistake.

    I'll stop there. I think I have made my point. Actually, I probably haven't. It won't surprise me if I sign in to UE tomorrow and find messages attacking me for declaring that it is against forum policy to dare to question bhai or barb.. I am learning to live with that.

  4. #24
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    NikkiBarber is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: when should I do "ain't"

    I am not an English teacher and I only speak English as a second language, BUT I think the first answer in this thread should cover it. Just because you can look up a word in a slang dictionary (or in any dictionary where the word is clearly listed as slang) doesn't mean that it is acceptable for a student to use it. As other posters have said:

    #1: "Ain't" is just not correct English.

    #2: You will never be in a situation where you cannot use the correct forms, such as "am not," "are not" and so on.

    #3: If "ain't" is not already part of your natural vocabulary you will most likely sound foolish if you use it - even when you are speaking to a group of people who do consider it part of their own vocabulary.

    I think I have a good understanding of when someone might decide to use the word "ain't" and I live in an area where the native speakers often use it as the standard, but you will never catch me saying "ain't" in any situation. At least not unless I am quoting someone else or telling a joke. I would sound ignorant and foolish.

    Also, this forum has a special section where you can discuss the use of slang. It might be better to debate the "acceptable" ways of using "ain't" there?

  5. #25
    Red5 is offline Webmaster, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: when should I do "ain't"

    Good point. Thread moved.
    Red5
    Webmaster, UsingEnglish.com

  6. #26
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: when should I do "ain't"

    You have posted a number of links, but not one of them gives an example of will + ain't + past participle in the way you used it. This is no argument at all. There is no evidence here; it's simply a smokescreen. Given that you initial response was to challenge someone and that your claim was wrong, simply adding a few links that don't support you is digging a deeper hole.

    Please stop making claims and stating things as facts when you don't know the whole picture. Dictionaries are not the best place to look for full guides to usage- they deal in definitions, so while they are right to say that ain't can be used to mean haven't, they are not giving the whole picture. You might want to look at some other sources for information on the usage of ain't first.

    I ain't done it. A non-standard form, but used correctly
    I'll ain't listened A boast about the virtues of not listening that is a self-undermining justification for occasionally listening to others

    I searched the American Corpus (Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA)) which has 410 million words of text in it and it couldn't find a single example of will + ain't + past participle. And by the way, wouldn't it be won't have + past participle rather than will have not + past participle normally?

  7. #27
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: when should I do "ain't"

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    Is this sentence possible even in this form?

    You can make a context:

    I don't like my teacher and haven't listened to him since the course began in March. By the end of the course I will have not listened to him for 18 months. (Not listening is seen as the action)

    It's not the natural word order, but as with so much, it can be done.

  8. #28
    e2e4 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: when should I do "ain't"

    I'll try to get more knowledge about "ain't" from some other sources because it seems to me it is so delicate to talk about it on the UE.com. In any case, I realised I must be very careful even when I ask an explanation about "ain't".

    It would be very hard for me to use "ain't" in my speech but it wouldn't be so bad idea to understand the participant who is a native speaker of English if he used "ain't".

    Thanks

  9. #29
    Vidor is offline Member
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    Default not a teacher

    If "ain't" is not already part of your natural vocabulary you will most likely sound foolish if you use it - even when you are speaking to a group of people who do consider it part of their own vocabulary.
    I agree with this. It's a particularly native idiom, and nonstandard. Of course, there's no particular reason beyond cultural snobbery for it to be nonstandard, but nonetheless it is. Someone who isn't a native speaker and from an area where "ain't" is part of the dialect will sound like they're faking it, even if they're using the word correctly.

    It's a pity we can't get "y'all" to catch on, though. It neatly fills the yawning gap caused in English by the disappearance of "thou" and use of "you" to mean both singular and plural.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: not a teacher

    Quote Originally Posted by Vidor View Post
    It's a pity we can't get "y'all" to catch on, though. It neatly fills the yawning gap caused in English by the disappearance of "thou" and use of "you" to mean both singular and plural.
    I know it is not correct and that the "all" part is technically unnecessary but I have to agree. Living in the South I am never confused, I always know when people are talking to someone in the singular or the plural. "y'all" is a useful word, though I have to say that it doesn't exactly sound educated.

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