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  1. Junior Member
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    #1

    Red face when should I do "ain't"

    Please, people, I don't know what is the right case that I should use
    "ain't". Actualy, what is the meaning of it?
    Thank you everyone!

  2. Junior Member
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    #2

    Re: when should I do "ain't"

    I'm not sure! sorry
    Last edited by EducadorZero; 23-Dec-2010 at 18:35.

  3. Senior Member
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    #3

    Re: when should I do "ain't"

    From my dictionary

    Ain't is a short form of either am not, is not, are not, has not, or have not.

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: when should I do "ain't"

    For English learners, the rule about when to use "ain't" is "never."

    It's considered non-standard by most current dialects in English and there is never a time you cannot use a form of "am not" or "is not" (etc.) that is considered standard.

    Having said that, native speakers do use it frequently, some because this non-standard use is common in their dialect and others because they are making a deliberate choice to use a non-standard for for some reason, such as for comic effect, to show stubbornness, or to feign ignorance about a subject.

    When you have mastered English to such a degree that you can make the deliberate choice to use it, then you can make your decisions as you go. Is this an audience who will understand my use of it, or will they think I just don't "know better."

    I use it in speech from time to time, but never in writing unless it's in a joking way in an e-mail to a friend. If I tried to use it as a proper substitution for "is not" in a piece of business writing, they would wonder why they hired me.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. Senior Member
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    #5

    Re: when should I do "ain't"

    Now, I think, we all learners are frustrated with your "never" Barb.

    Ain't I gonna listen to you, am I?

    I'll tell you what!,I'll ain't listened to you by the year 2012. Then I'll see what to do with the pile of hasnotisnotamnothavenothasnot compresed in a form called "ain't".
    Last edited by e2e4; 23-Dec-2010 at 23:15. Reason: My last sentence could have hurt someone so that I deleted it.

  6. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: when should I do "ain't"

    Quote Originally Posted by e2e4 View Post
    Now, I think, we all learners are frustrated with your "never" Barb.

    Ain't I gonna listen to you, am I?

    I'll tell you what!,I'll ain't listened to you by the year 2012. Then I'll see what to do with the pile of hasnotisnotamnothavenothasnot compresed in a form called "ain't".

    You had better let me know whom of native English speakers use it. I mean, from where they could be.
    Amongst other things, you have misused "ain't".

  7. Newbie
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    #7

    Re: when should I do "ain't"

    Do you mean, "When should you teach that 'ain't' is not acceptable in professional English? I associate 'ain't' with Black-American Youth Idiomatic Lingo.
    Please note that I am not being judgemental - only observational.
    When you use it, I think you define yourself as a particular segment of society.
    My generation of White Anglo Saxon Canadian associates 'ain't' as reflective of being under-educated and in a job interview position would probably not hire the user.
    The word 'ain't' is an incorrect contraction of the present tense verb 'be', e.g. 'I am not' and I teach that the correct contraction is 'I'm not'. I've also heard it on TV used in 3rd person - 'She / He ain't instead of 'She / He isn't'. Many people also use 'ain't' as the incorrect contraction of 'I do not have' - as in "I ain't got' and I teach that contraction as 'I don't have'. Note that even 'I haven't' is also really an incorrect use of 'have' in the negative. Correct English regular negatives mostly require the auxiliary 'do'.

  8. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: when should I do "ain't"

    Quote Originally Posted by Leaping lievre View Post
    Do you mean, "When should you teach that 'ain't' is not acceptable in professional English? I associate 'ain't' with Black-American Youth Idiomatic Lingo.
    Please note that I am not being judgemental - only observational.
    When you use it, I think you define yourself as a particular segment of society.
    My generation of White Anglo Saxon Canadian associates 'ain't' as reflective of being under-educated and in a job interview position would probably not hire the user.
    The word 'ain't' is an incorrect contraction of the present tense verb 'be', e.g. 'I am not' and I teach that the correct contraction is 'I'm not'. I've also heard it on TV used in 3rd person - 'She / He ain't instead of 'She / He isn't'. Many people also use 'ain't' as the incorrect contraction of 'I do not have' - as in "I ain't got' and I teach that contraction as 'I don't have'. Note that even 'I haven't' is also really an incorrect use of 'have' in the negative. Correct English regular negatives mostly require the auxiliary 'do'.
    Welcome to the forums.
    I have to disagree with your assertion that "I haven't" is incorrect. It is an old form from before the introduction of the auxiliary "do" into the language; however, it is still very much in use in several dialects of English including to some extent BrE.

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