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    #1

    Am I not? OR Aren't I?

    I'm really confused. Today, I read this sample sentence from an English book. --> I am late, aren't I!

    What is the explanation to this? Is this correct? I know that I is paired with the be verb AM. But why is the given sentence like that?

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Am I not? OR Aren't I?

    'Am I not' is correct, but very formal. The interrogative negative form has long been contracted in speech to /ɑ:nt/, just as the equivalent form for 'can' is produced as /kɑ:nt/, and that for 'shall' as /ʃɑ:nt/. By analogy with 'aren't you', /ɑ:nt/ has come to be written as 'aren't'.

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    #3

    Re: Am I not? OR Aren't I?

    Yes, its correct. It's an exception. You can't say "I are," but you can ask "aren't I?"

    You could say "am I not?" but that sounds formal.

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    #4

    Re: Am I not? OR Aren't I?

    I'm really confused.

    [/QUOTE]


    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    (1) Me, too.

    (2) This is one of those exceptions that learners have to learn. (I guess that there are

    exceptions in your language, too. Am I right?)

    (3) So we can say:

    I am your best friend, am I not? (This answer is very formal and takes three words.)

    I am your best friend, ain't I? (In 2012, the word "ain't" is considered by many people

    to be a word used only by uneducated people -- or people who want to be humorous.)

    I respectfully suggest that you NOT use it. If you do, some (many?) people will lose

    respect for you.

    I am your best friend, aren't I? (This is the tag question that native speakers have

    decided to use.)

    P.S. You can always say: I'm your best friend. Right?

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    #5

    Re: Am I not? OR Aren't I?

    BE is the most irregular verb in English - no other verb has so many forms: be, been, being, am, is, are, was, were. But then its equivalents are pretty irregular in many other Indo-European languages. That's just one of those things that we have to live with.

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Am I not? OR Aren't I?

    The other posters are right, munchkin2618. Without wishing to confuse you, there are two dialects of English; Irish and Scottish, in which the contraction "amn't I" is very common.
    Last edited by bhaisahab; 24-Oct-2012 at 18:28.

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    #7

    Re: Am I not? OR Aren't I?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    The other posters are right, munchkin2618. Without wishing to confuse you, there are two dialects of English, Irish and Scottish, in which the contraction "amn't I" is very common.
    Indeed. I forgot to mention that. We English speakers of English tend to forget the other varieties spoken in the UK (and the Republic).

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