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  1. #1
    carlebo is offline Newbie
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    Default colloquial english

    If I say "I ainīt got any money" how colloquial does it sound? I mean does it sound like low class or just colloquial speech used by the man next door.

  2. #2
    IvanV is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: colloquial english

    The contraction ain't is a widespread colloquialism. It's generally considered standard English (BBC is, for instance, very fond of it), and it can be seldom found in formal writing.
    Your sentence does sound ''colloquial'', and I'd not recommend it for some instances too formal, but it's in no way ''low class''.

  3. #3
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: colloquial english

    Hello Carlebo, welcome to Using English!

    In British English, "ain't" is now associated with "low class" forms of English, rather than ordinary colloquial speech of the kind anyone might use.

    Best wishes,

    MrP
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  4. #4
    IvanV is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: colloquial english

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic View Post
    In British English, "ain't" is now associated with "low class" forms of English, rather than ordinary colloquial speech of the kind anyone might use.
    Since when, MrPedantic? I think that calling it ''low class'' might sound a bit too harsh.

  5. #5
    Amigos4's Avatar
    Amigos4 is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: colloquial english

    Quote Originally Posted by carlebo View Post
    If I say "I ainīt got any money" how colloquial does it sound? I mean does it sound like low class or just colloquial speech used by the man next door.
    Carlebo, welcome to the forums! I hope you will be a frequent visitor!

    I agree with Mr. Pedantic. In North America the term 'ain't' is typically associated with less educated individuals. I would recommend staying away from using it.

    Cheers,
    Amigo

  6. #6
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: colloquial english

    Quote Originally Posted by IvanV View Post
    Since when, MrPedantic? I think that calling it ''low class'' might sound a bit too harsh.
    Hello Ivan,

    I use "low class" in the context of the distinction in the original question. Generally, I would call "ain't" non-standard, in BrE; sometimes (for instance) BrE speakers whose English is otherwise standard will throw in an "ain't" for mildly humorous effect (e.g. "It ain't necessarily so"). The mild humour depends on the non-standard status of "ain't".

    (By the way, although my earlier post has the air of a direct contradiction of yours, you weren't there when I began to answer. So no brusqueness intended.)

    All the best,

    MrP
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    Default Re: colloquial english

    Is Ivan confusing 'isn't' and 'ain't'

    No reporter on the BBC would say 'ain't'.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: colloquial english

    You may as well go whole hog and throw in the double negative: I ain't go no money.

  9. #9
    Amigos4's Avatar
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    Default Re: colloquial english

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    You may as well go whole hog and throw in the double negative: I ain't go no money.
    If you ain't got no money, you ain't gonna get no supper!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: colloquial english

    Quote Originally Posted by IvanV View Post
    Since when, MrPedantic? I think that calling it ''low class'' might sound a bit too harsh.
    It's sub-standard English in Australia, not colloquial.

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