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    #1

    Question Grammar mistakes in songs

    Hi,

    I have noticed that some songs have grammar mistakes, and it seems it is intentionally done it. Why do song writers do that?

    For example:

    In Problem song by Becky, I noticed this grammar mistake:

    And I don't have to try, I just do what I does

    Could you explain this?

    Thank you,
    Last edited by white.rose; 21-Oct-2014 at 14:01.

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    #2

    Re: Grammar mistakes in songs

    not a teacher

    The lyrics of pop songs often use very informal English, including street dialects and slang. What appears to be an incorrect form might be quite common in the spoken English of a particular group of native speakers. Depending on the example, a songwriter might use non-standard English that is quite natural for him or her, or they might be aiming the song at listeners who would identify with the type of English being used. In the Becky G lyrics, this kind of flexibility in the language allows her to say "does" so it has an approximate rhyme with the previous line's "love", while not necessarily sounding wrong to the intended audience in the context of the song.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Grammar mistakes in songs

    Don't rely on song lyrics for grammatical English. The lyrics are written to fit the rhythm and the rhyme of the song. There are tens of thousands of examples of ungrammatical English in song lyrics.

    One of the most famous examples is "I Can't Get No Satisfaction" - we all know the rules about double negatives, I'm sure.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #4

    Re: Grammar mistakes in songs

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


    Hello, White Rose:

    Many years ago, I learned a lesson in humility.

    I was ridiculing a song line that said something like "She don't love me."

    I said something like: "Songs are full of mistakes. Of course, the word should be 'doesn't.' What is wrong with those songwriters?"

    Then a young person spoke up (very courteously) and said something like:

    "Excuse me, sir. But in song lyrics, the writer often has to choose a word with the right number of syllables. "She doesn't love me" would not have been in harmony with the other lyrics."

    Since then, I have learned to keep my mouth shut when it comes to the lyrics of pop music.



    James

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    #5

    Re: Grammar mistakes in songs

    Thank you for replying.

    I don't rely at all, but because I'm not a native speaker of English I feel that there is a contradiction between what I know about English grammar, and what I see in lyrics.

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    #6

    Re: Grammar mistakes in songs

    Tunes trump grammar- it happens all the time, and has done for a very long time. Here's a classic piece of bad grammar that makes for a good lyric: Is you is or is you ain't my baby

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    #7

    Re: Grammar mistakes in songs

    Song writers don't write essays. They write poetry in which rhyme and meter are very important. Bob Dylan wrote a song It Ain't Me Babe. Why "ain't" instead of "isn't". Part was style and part was because it was one syllable.

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