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    • Join Date: Feb 2009
    • Posts: 2
    #1

    Question Ain't no enemy

    Hi

    I totally don't know how to interpret or how to understand when people say for instance: "I ain't no enemy" or "I ain't no good".

    Could someone please explain how to understand that phrase?
    Because ain't is a contraction of am not, are not, is not etc. So when they say "I ain't no enemy", does that mean that the person is not no enemy? which means the person is an enemy?

    But usually it turns out to be the opposite of what I thought it means. So I'm so confused.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #2

    Re: Ain't no enemy

    It is called a double negative and is a common colloquial usage but not a formal one.

    The real meaning is "I am not an enemy".

    To see more about double negatives see: https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/a...tml#post380767


    • Join Date: Feb 2009
    • Posts: 2
    #3

    Re: Ain't no enemy

    Oh, thanks a lot! :)

  1. Offroad's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Brazilian Portuguese
      • Home Country:
      • Brazil
      • Current Location:
      • Brazil

    • Join Date: Feb 2008
    • Posts: 2,817
    #4

    Re: Ain't no enemy

    What are you talking about? I am no enemy...

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