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Thread: Ain't

  1. #1
    mecef is offline Newbie
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    Default Ain't

    what exactly "ain't" means?
    dictionary says it stands for "am not, have not"
    isn't "I ain't got no shoes" double negative then?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by mecef View Post
    what exactly "ain't" means?
    dictionary says it stands for "am not, have not"
    isn't "I ain't got no shoes" double negative then?
    Yes it is, it's very poor English.

  3. #3
    mecef is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Ain't

    oh... ok, I see, I took it from this song
    YouTube - Nina Simone I Ain't Got No (I Got Life)
    thanks for reply
    maybe English is poor, but the song is still great

  4. #4
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ain't

    The word "ain't" is nonstandard English. It is also used by many native speakers of English.




  5. #5
    abaka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Ain't

    It's very common slang; and, like a lot of slang, vivid and rich in meaning: somewhat lower-class, thoroughly unsuitable for any formal setting, to be avoided at all costs by people who are learning English, but indispensable in literature and even life, depending on where you find yourself.
    Last edited by abaka; 14-Jan-2009 at 23:01.

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Ain't

    Quote Originally Posted by abaka View Post
    somewhat lower-class
    Ain't was widely used by the upper classes in Britain. The ideas of what was acceptable were more middle class in origin.

  7. #7
    abaka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Ain't

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Ain't was widely used by the upper classes in Britain. The ideas of what was acceptable were more middle class in origin.
    You got me. I'm a colonial.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Ain't

    Ain't it pretty?
    -- RonBee

  9. #9
    Charlie Bernstein is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Ain't

    Quote Originally Posted by mecef View Post
    isn't "I ain't got no shoes" double negative then?
    Yes. English is a melting pot of languages. In many languages, double negatives are good grammar because they agree.

    So double negatives have thoroughly infiltrated English in every country, even though they make no sense in our grammar: Two wrongs don't make a right, two rights don't make a left, and two negatives don't make a positive.

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