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Thread: Ain't

  1. #1
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    Default Ain't

    1) What is it short for?
    2) How is it spelt? Ain't or aint :P
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Ouisch's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ain't

    It's short for either "am not" or "are not", depending upon the context. Correct spelling is "ain't."

    And, of course, despite its very common and frequent usage, it's still considered incorrect grammar.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Ain't

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch
    It's short for either "am not" or "are not", depending upon the context. Correct spelling is "ain't."
    And, of course, despite its very common and frequent usage, it's still considered incorrect grammar.
    How about 'is not', 'have not' and 'has not'?

  4. #4
    matilda Guest

    Talking Re: Ain't

    ain't is the short form of BE+NOT
    and i'm not sure if it can be used instead of HAVE/HAS+NOT
    but it is not grammatically correct.

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Ain't

    It can be used for all persons of be (I ain't going, you ain't going, etc) and for have/has (I ain't done it, he ain't done it, etc).

  6. #6
    matilda Guest

    Talking Re: Ain't

    dear tdol

    this post DOESN'T mean that you are not right. but one of my teachers told me that we CAN NOT use ain't instead of have/has. does this site have a forum mentioning this rule?

    thanks
    Matilda

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Ain't

    If you have a look at these Google results, you'll see that ain't + past participle, many of which will be replacements for 'have' is common, and used in British and American English:

    http://www.google.com/search?hs=Pvj&...22&btnG=Search
    http://www.google.com/search?hs=cvj&...22&btnG=Search
    (Try scrolling through some of the back pages away from the first page)

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Ain't

    Quote Originally Posted by matilda
    ... one of my teachers told me that we CAN NOT use ain't instead of have/has.
    Here are two utterances I have said:

    "ain't" instead of "haven't"
    EX: I ain't seen you in a while. <I haven't seen you in a while.>

    "ain't" instead of "don't"
    EX: They ain't got my size. <They don't have my size.>


    In addition,

    From Take Our Word For IT
    http://www.takeourword.com/arc_logi.html#ain't
    [ain't] has also been used, since 1845, to mean `have not' and `has not.'

    From Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
    http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?va=ain't
    Main Entry: ain't
    1 : am not : are not : is not
    2 : have not : has not
    3 : do not : does not : did not

    Hope that helps.

  9. #9
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Ain't

    Given that it's a non-standard form, it shouldn't really be expected to behave according to the rules.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Ain't

    Oh, but ... it follows. It follows. It's a generic contraction that regularized, starting with 1st person singular BE, then 2nd and 3rd, then all persons and numbers BE, then moved on to the other two major auxiliaries, HAVE and DO.

    ain't
    1706, originally a contraction of am not, and in proper use with that sense until it began to be used as a generic contraction for are not, is not, etc., in early 19c. Cockney dialect of London, popularized by representations of this in Dickens, etc., which led to the word being banished from correct English.

    Source: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?...earchmode=none

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