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    #1

    Aren't I /am I not?

    Hello.

    What's the difference between these forms: ''aren't I?'' ''am I not?'' ''isn't he/she it?'' and ''is he/she/it not?'' ''aren't we/you/they'' and ''are we/they/you not?''

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    #2

    Re: Aren't I /am I not?

    No difference in meaning. Difference only in formality.

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    #3

    Re: Aren't I /am I not?

    Aren't I is the usual way of asking the question more grammatically expressed as "Am I not?" You will occasionally hear the latter, but most speakers use the former.

    Grammatical correctness isn't an issue in the other persons. The uncontracted versions are rarely used.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #4

    Re: Aren't I /am I not?

    NOT A TEACHER

    Hello, Ms. Adams:

    I may be wrong, of course, but I believe that it depends on the context.

    Sometimes the uncontracted form is used for emphasis: "Why don't you show respect for Mrs. Jones? She is your teacher? Is she not?

    Compare: "I'm not sure, but I think that Mrs. Jones is your teacher, isn't she?"

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    #5

    Re: Aren't I /am I not?

    I might be wrong too but I think I read about it once. Perhaps it is also used to express irony?

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    #6

    Re: Aren't I /am I not?

    Sorry, what do you mean by ''Grammatical correctness isn't an issue in the other persons?''

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    #7

    Re: Aren't I /am I not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel Adams View Post
    Sorry, what do you mean by ''Grammatical correctness isn't an issue in the other persons?''
    Unlike aren't I and am I not, isn't he and is he not are equally grammatical.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #8

    Re: Aren't I /am I not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel Adams View Post
    I might be wrong too but I think I read about it once. Perhaps it is also used to express irony?
    NOT A TEACHER


    Hello, Ms. Adams:

    I thought that you would like this information from a respected source: "We use the full form in formal questions or when we require special emphasis to express anger, surprise, etc."

    -- L.G. Alexander, Longman English Grammar (1988 edition), page 255.

    He gives these two examples: "Have I not asked you again and again to be here on time?" and "Are there not more than enough weapons of destruction on earth?"

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    #9

    Re: Aren't I /am I not?

    "aren't I" is an odd one, because we don't say "I are". The shift came from the 19th-century proscription of the word "ain't" (or "an't"), which was once the proper form for this structure. The taboo of "ain't" still lasts to this day.
    NOT A TEACHER. Translator and editor, and I hold a TESOL certificate. Native speaker of American English (West Coast)

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    #10

    Re: Aren't I /am I not?

    This is quite a big question.

    Very generally speaking, I'd say that the uncontracted forms, which place greater stress on the not, are used to emphasise something. That something may be a feeling of anger or surprise (as mentioned in post #8), but not exclusively by any means. It seems to me there are too many other uses to document.

    Preferences for the uncontracted over the contracted forms can also be loosely associated with particular speech communities. (I'm thinking of Irish, for example.)

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