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about "ain't"





insolent1
Where can we use "ain't"?
I know it is included in street language.

It is "isnt" ...probably.

Sometime i see it refer to havent.

Who explains it with sentences.

Thanks.
Davidgr1200
Aint is usually an abbreviation for isn't, but you are quite right, it can also be used as an abbreviation for haven't. That's probably why there is both an "i" and a "a" in it init!
Yazz
Innit jus' dandeh?

Now, ain't ain't real English, mac.

It's jus' street garb. 'Needa brush up on som' English classes.
Soulfire
I just avoid it, it's a pet peeve of the English teachers at my school. Any dictionary I know of lists it as slang.
{name here}
Soulfire wrote:
I just avoid it, it's a pet peeve of the English teachers at my school. Any dictionary I know of lists it as slang.

It idn't matter if it's slang in dis day and age.
bdoneck
the slang ain't annoys me A LOT. It it usually used for isn't and just shows how lazy people are becoming because isn't is already short for is not and they are shortening it even more
Juparis
I always thought ain't was an abreviation for either is-not or am-not as well. I hadn't heard of it being used intsead of "haven't" before, but whatever...

I usually laugh at those who hate "ain't," because as much as people hate to deny it, it's part of the English language now (slang or not). I ain't lyin', eetha.
What annoys me most are the teachers that don't allow the usage of "it", "if", or "alot" (although I can understand that last one).
BruceTheDauber
Juparis wrote:
I always thought ain't was an abreviation for either is-not or am-not as well. I hadn't heard of it being used intsead of "haven't" before, but whatever...


You have, you just never noticed it before now. Consider the lyrics of this song:


Ain't got no home, ain't got no shoes
Ain't got no money, ain't got no class
Ain't got no friends, ain't got no schoolin'
Ain't got no wear, ain't got no job
Ain't got no man

Ain't got no father, ain't got no mother
Ain't got no children, ain't got no
Ain't got no earth, ain't got no water
Ain't got no ticket, ain't got no token
Ain't got no love

(Nina Simone)

In those lines "ain't" doesn't mean "isn't" or "am not", it means "haven't".


Quote:
I usually laugh at those who hate "ain't," because as much as people hate to deny it, it's part of the English language now (slang or not). I ain't lyin', eetha.
What annoys me most are the teachers that don't allow the usage of "it", "if", or "alot" (although I can understand that last one).


I agree. Ain't has been part of the English language for hundreds of years, so complaining about it is a bit silly.
Blaster
It is a word as to it is in the dictionary. It can mean isn't, am not, haven't, and the one most forgot is are not. Surprised

So yes it is a word that can mean many things. That is why the english language is hard to learn
eml298
I agree with the above poster, for whom "ain't" is a HUGE pet peeve. However, given that it is in the dictionary and that there is such a large saturation of slang in the english language today, it seems unfair to limit its usage and not the usage of so many other words. Ugh Smile
BruceTheDauber
Who decided that "ain't" is slang? It's as good as "don't", "can't", etc. Is it really logical to complain about one while accepting the others? I think not.
thegamecreator
its cause

Aint isnt a word like
git
lol Smile

its black people language
thats not to be racist...i say black people language cause ive never seen 1 black person that likes metal and doesnt say G or Dawg or Yo from time to time
Juparis
I see what you mean, Bruce. I've never heard that song, but the usage of "ain't" is familiar...

Blaster wrote:
So yes it is a word that can mean many things. That is why the english language is hard to learn

And we haven't even gotten to the thousands of idioms people would need to learn. I can't think of any other culture that uses as many as we do. (unless I'm missing one?)
HoboPelican
thegamecreator wrote:
its cause

Aint isnt a word like
git
lol Smile

its black people language
thats not to be racist...i say black people language cause ive never seen 1 black person that likes metal and doesnt say G or Dawg or Yo from time to time


The quote below is sort of long, but please, if you are gonna talk about 'ain't', read it. Especially the usage note. The use of 'ain't' is not new and is not restricted to any class. BTW - the quote is from http://www.thefreedictionary.com
although similar info can be found in the OED.

Quote:

ain't Pronunciation (nt)
Nonstandard
1. Contraction of am not.
2. Used also as a contraction for are not, is not, has not, and have not.

Usage Note: Ain't has a long history of controversy. It first appeared in 1778, evolving from an earlier an't, which arose almost a century earlier as a contraction of are not and am not. In fact, ain't arose at the tail end of an era that saw the introduction of a number of our most common contractions, including don't and won't. But while don't and won't eventually became accepted at all levels of speech and writing, ain't was to receive a barrage of criticism in the 19th century for having no set sequence of words from which it can be contracted and for being a "vulgarism," that is, a term used by the lower classes, although an't at least had been originally used by the upper classes as well. At the same time ain't's uses were multiplying to include has not, have not, and is not, by influence of forms like ha'n't and i'n't. It may be that these extended uses helped fuel the negative reaction. Whatever the case, criticism of ain't by usage commentators and teachers has not subsided, and the use of ain't is often regarded as a sign of ignorance.·But despite all the attempts to ban it, ain't continues to enjoy extensive use in speech. Even educated and upper-class speakers see no substitute in folksy expressions such as Say it ain't so and You ain't seen nothin' yet.·The stigmatization of ain't leaves us with no happy alternative for use in first-person questions. The widely used aren't I? though illogical, was found acceptable for use in speech by a majority of the Usage Panel in an earlier survey, but in writing there is no acceptable substitute for the stilted am I not?
Tumbleweed
In my area "aint" means all of the above and also "has not"

"aint anybody told you there aint any tooth fairy"
Gieter
English isn't my first language, and I don't use 'ain't' when I speak (since we didn't learn it in school), but I understand the ones who 'hate' 'ain't' and the ones who just accept it.

Language keeps evolving, words disappear and appear. This because of technological progress, but also because it's something 'natural': people like to use new words. After a while, it isn't new anymore, it gets in a dictionairy. When there are enough alternatives for a word, it won't be used anymore.

Language also keeps changing because of sub-cultures, who have their own vocabulary or even their own grammatical structures.
Helios
Ain't = I'm not Smile

It's used as slang, too..
for example: "You ain't worth s**t st*pid f*ck*er!" (sorry, kids).

Generally, you shouldn't use it.
ocalhoun
It is the only negaiton that is proper to use in a double negative: "I ain't got no money."

Some things it can replace:
'am not': "I ain't goin'"
'are not': "Ain't you gonna come?"
'have not': "I ain't got no reason to go."
'is not': "That ain't no good reason."

Hopefully you see the pattern: Ain't replaces a present tense identifying verb and a negation.

By the way, it ain't just black people talk; it's also used frequently by hispanics and rednecks.
However, english teachers don't like contractions that have multiple meanings, so as far as thry're concerned: "Ain't ain't in the dictionary, so you ain't goin' to use it."
Jerimiah40
I personally hate the word ain't... too many meanings, none of which are gramatically correct >.< It just sounds wierd.
the_mariska
I've always thought that ain't must have been (or musta been - this spelling drives me even more mad Evil or Very Mad ) by a very lazy dude who had no actual knowledge of English grammar. The only case where I may find it useful is placing it instead of 'am not', as there are no abbreviations for this. All the rest (is not, has not) is not only incorrect but senseless indeed.
Ultima1080
Contraction bashers.
izimngcubes15
ain't isn't a word I don't think. Ain't is just a word we use for so long, we got used to it....but it isn't a word.
Juparis
Sorry, but I have to disagree. Ain't is definitely a word we use. It's even defined as a slang word.
Something like R.I.A.A. isn't a word.
Something like alkshgskdj isn't a word.
Something like t isn't a word.
Ain't, however, is a word, and is used throughout (though mainly in central & southern) America.

English teachers and english teachers' pets are the only people who say "ain't" ain't a word. Razz If it truly isn't a word, you wouldn't have understood half this thread. Laughing
HoboPelican
izimngcubes15 wrote:
ain't isn't a word I don't think. Ain't is just a word we use for so long, we got used to it....but it isn't a word.


What, you don't believe the dictionary? I quoted a perectly good ref that clearly says it's contraction for "am not" and has been in use for over 200 years. It has been misused over the years and has been relagated to nonstandard (slang)use, but it is a word. Jeez. Laughing
fufu1983
insolent1 wrote:
Where can we use "ain't"?
I know it is included in street language.

It is "isnt" ...probably.

Sometime i see it refer to havent.

Who explains it with sentences.

Thanks.


hoho
theo
it's "am-not"
i think it's proper
a.Bird
I have an idea... let's worry about the specific structure of our language, including the usage of "slang", as opposed to focusing our amazing ability to conceptualize concrete ideas in the first place! Brick wall
AftershockVibe
Ain't is frowned upon by english teachers (except for character's speech) because of the problems you have all had trying to work out exactly what it stands for.

"Isn't", "Don't" are specific contractions - they stand for "Is not" and "Do not" without ambiguity. If you allow children to use "ain't" it's basically a lazy way out because you don't actually have to think about what your sentence really means. It would therefore be marked down in exams and therefore it is not a good idea for teachers to promote it.

You might argue that laziness in lanugage is fine as it doesn't hurt anybody. However, it does make it harder to understand exactly what someone means when writing. Similarly, the word "stuff" is often used in speech when someone momentarily forgets a noun. This is fine if you know the context so you're paying attention but useless if you're not.

The last thing you want in, say, a company fininancial report is the line;
"Quarterly Report on Computer Mice:
We ain't meet the targets for the sale of this stuff...."

Haven't met?
Aren't going to meet?
What stuff?!!!!!!!!!!!
BruceTheDauber
AftershockVibe wrote:
Ain't is frowned upon by english teachers (except for character's speech) because of the problems you have all had trying to work out exactly what it stands for.


Yes, English teachers do use that objection, but as an objection, it is entirely fatuous. The meaning of "ain't" is always obvious and unambiguous. What it translates into in terms of "am not", "is not", "are not", is not important in any way, but is always in any case obvious from the context.

"Ain't", in a sentence of the form X ain't Y means that the predicate "is Y" does not apply to the object X.

The phrase "ain't got" is equivalent to "hasn't got" or "haven't got".

Quote:
If you allow children to use "ain't" it's basically a lazy way out because you don't actually have to think about what your sentence really means.


That's not true. The meaning of "ain't" is perfectly clear. "Am not" does not really mean anything different from "are not" or "is not". Those are just conventional inflections of the same verb, and the inflection is not necessary in order to convey the meaning. Ain't is not inflected according to person, but such inflection does not carry any meaning anyway, and the the denotational meaning of "ain't" is absolutely clear.

Quote:
You might argue that laziness in lanugage is fine as it doesn't hurt anybody.


Indeed, it does not hurt anyone in this context, since no meaning is lost.

Quote:
However, it does make it harder to understand exactly what someone means when writing.


It doesn't make things harder to understand at all. It's meaning is unambiguous.

Quote:
The last thing you want in, say, a company fininancial report is the line;
"Quarterly Report on Computer Mice:
We ain't meet the targets for the sale of this stuff...."

Haven't met?
Aren't going to meet?
What stuff?!!!!!!!!!!!


In the example you give, "ain't meet" is ungrammatical. Perhaps you meant "ain't met"? If you did, then the meaning is obviously "haven't met". If you meant "ain't meeting", then the meaning would obviously be "aren't meeting", and if you said "ain't going to meet", then the meaning would obviously be "aren't going to meet". There is no ambiguity at all.

As for "stuff", the use of the pronoun "this" implies that what stuff is under discussion is specified by the context. The text is quite clear, and if the phrase "this stuff" were replaced by "this material" or "these goods", etc., the text would be no clearer.
insolent1
thank you for everything.
AftershockVibe
Hmmm, I see your point but my explanation wasn't terribly good.

How about;
"I ain't fired."

Now that IS ambiguous. Do you mean "I haven't fired" (a gun) or "I am not fired" (from a job)? Now, again, this would probably be very clear if you knew the sentence beforehand however, on its own as a complete sentence it's just your best guess.

It adds no extra meaning to the language as it is simply a shorthand (lazy version) of "is not", "am not" or even a totally different verb, "have not". It does however add a degree of ambiguity, even if it can be easily resolved as in the example above.

Because of that it is possible to use ain't and for it to make sense in all occasions but the reason people do not want it added to formal english (and therefore the reason it remains as slang) is that making it formal english would serve no useful purpose as it does not add to what the language can express and if anything makes it slightly less precise.

Going back to my bad example which you ripped apart before... "Stuff" is an imprecise word which is accepted because originally it meant "essential essence or substance" and has become more vague over time unlike "ain't" which started off vague.

Wink
BruceTheDauber
AftershockVibe wrote:
Hmmm, I see your point but my explanation wasn't terribly good.

How about;
"I ain't fired."

Now that IS ambiguous.


Well, since we're being pedantic, you probably ought to say "I ain't been fired", if you're talking about being fired from a job, and you might prefer to say "I ain't fired it" if you're talking about a gun. If you did, the sentences would not be ambiguous.

Anyway, the ambiguity of which you speak is fictive. In a real situation, there would be no ambiguity. If you try to imagine a scenario in which someone said "I ain't fired", and the person being addressed was unsure of whether that person was talking about guns or jobs, it's pretty hard to do. In fact, I suspect that you've never experienced a situation in which the use of "ain't" made the meaning of an utterance unclear to you. I'm pretty sure it's never happened to me.

So, "ain't" ain't an ambiguous expression. Even if it were, that is not in itself a bad thing. Language doesn't have to be precise all the time. In fact, it is important for a language to have vague terms if it is to be useful.
English be crippled without indexicals like "this" and "that", pronouns like "it", and super-inclusive nouns like "thing".
HoboPelican
AftershockVibe wrote:
Hmmm, I see your point but my explanation wasn't terribly good.

How about;
"I ain't fired."

Now that IS ambiguous. Do you mean "I haven't fired" (a gun) or "I am not fired" (from a job)? Now, again, this would probably be very clear if you knew the sentence beforehand however, on its own as a complete sentence it's just your best guess.

It adds no extra meaning to the language as it is simply a shorthand (lazy version) of "is not", "am not" or even a totally different verb, "have not". It does however add a degree of ambiguity, even if it can be easily resolved as in the example above.
.
..
...



Actually, since the dictionary says it's means "am not", it's not ambiguous at all. The only ambiguity comes from poor usage (due to it not being currently taught?). And to say it adds no extra meaning to the language and is just lazy makes me think you are advocating making all contractions slang since they add nothing new and are just examples of laziness. Smile
AftershockVibe
HoboPelican wrote:
And to say it adds no extra meaning to the language and is just lazy makes me think you are advocating making all contractions slang since they add nothing new and are just examples of laziness. Smile


You're right that contractions don't add anything but they are useful shorthand, they therefore serve a purpose. Ain't isn't a contraction at all ("ai not" makes no sense) and, if your dictionary definition is correct, would only replace an existing contraction ("I'm not") which is in fact no longer than "I ain't"!
HoboPelican
AftershockVibe wrote:
HoboPelican wrote:
And to say it adds no extra meaning to the language and is just lazy makes me think you are advocating making all contractions slang since they add nothing new and are just examples of laziness. Smile


You're right that contractions don't add anything but they are useful shorthand, they therefore serve a purpose. Ain't isn't a contraction at all ("ai not" makes no sense) and, if your dictionary definition is correct, would only replace an existing contraction ("I'm not") which is in fact no longer than "I ain't"!


Repeated quote from http://www.thefreedictionary.com
Quote:
ain't
Nonstandard
1. Contraction of am not.
2. Used also as a contraction for are not, is not, has not, and have not.


That is one reference that says ain't IS a contraction. It doesn't follow what most people are taught is a contraction, but I gotta go with a dictionary over common "knowledge". Tell you what, can you name a dictionary where 'ain't' doesn't appear?
AftershockVibe
I didn't say that it wasn't in the dictionary. I said it wasn't a proper contraction. Even your dictionary definition clearly states that it is nonstandard.

Having had a look in a real (ie not-online) dictionary It would appear that "ain't" is a contraction of "Am not I". As in "I'm just a kid ain't I?" Which I would completely agree with as it IS a contraction. The problem is the formal use of the bastardised version which occurs in speech.
HoboPelican
AftershockVibe wrote:
I didn't say that it wasn't in the dictionary. I said it wasn't a proper contraction. Even your dictionary definition clearly states that it is nonstandard.

Having had a look in a real (ie not-online) dictionary It would appear that "ain't" is a contraction of "Am not I". As in "I'm just a kid ain't I?" Which I would completely agree with as it IS a contraction. The problem is the formal use of the bastardised version which occurs in speech.


Actually, you said it wasn't a contraction. The nonstandard mentioned in the citation refers to it being considered slang, not a nonstandard contraction.
http://dictionary.reference.com/ gives identical info. I can find no reference to "am not I". In fact, your example of "Ain't I" backs up my citation of "am not" since even the example doesn't replace the 'I' when using the contraction.

Just to summarize. I've quoted 2 sources identifying 'ain't' as a valid contraction. It is considered a word by every dictionary I've been able to check, although it is considered slang (or nonstandard). Is there still any disagreement? I'm not saying I'd use it in certain company, but your statement that it is not a contraction seems to be wrong (if you have a reference that refutes this. toss it in and we can discuss it).
SFMeatwad
aint = am not
aint = will not
aint = aint

make it a word, because people use it already..
AftershockVibe
It IS a contraction. It is a contraction of "am I not " according to the Collins Concise English Dictionary. That's where the letters come from!

When I stated that "ain't" wasn't a contraction I was referring to the uses of "ain't" which had previously been used in the topic, namely: "have not", "is not" and "am not." There is no possible way of getting all the letters or sounds required to make the word "ain't" from those phrases. "ain't" may well be a contraction of "am I not" which is mistakenly used in place of these phrases in slang speech but that doesn't make it a contraction of those words! That was what I meant.

I never said that it wasn't a word or that it wasn't in the dictionary. I said that it was frowned upon by english techers (per the original subject) as it wasn't considered proper english. I'm therefore not entirely sure why you're arguing with me since you agree that the dictionary classes it as non-standard.

"I ain't got it" - invalid contraction used in place of "have not", slang.
"Ain't that a pity" - invalid contraction used in place of "is not", slang.
"I ain't going there" - invalid contraction used in place of "am not", slang.
"I'm fat, ain't I?" - VALID contraction of "am I not", grammatically correct english.
HoboPelican
AftershockVibe wrote:
It IS a contraction. It is a contraction of "am I not " according to the Collins Concise English Dictionary. That's where the letters come from!


Hmm. Thanks for finally posting a reference. I don't have that one in the house, but I find it interesting that the four I do and any source on the net always say it's a contraction for "am not". I can't find another ref for the "am I not". It doesn't even make sense. That would make the sentence 'I'm stoopid, ain't I?' read as 'I'm stoopid, am I not I?'. But the English language has lots of odd things. Smile

Quote:

I never said that it wasn't a word or that it wasn't in the dictionary. I said that it was frowned upon by english techers (per the original subject) as it wasn't considered proper english. I'm therefore not entirely sure why you're arguing with me since you agree that the dictionary classes it as non-standard.

Not just you, my friend, but I was trying to get the discussion based around actual references, instead of 'I was taught' or 'it just is'. I still can't buy the "am I not" concept, but until I can refute it, I'll let it stand as a possiblity.

Ain't being bad is just one of things which everybody is taught and maybe could use a deeper look. FYI- below is a quote from the Wikipedia article which relates back to your statement that it adds nothing to the language.

Quote:
Ain't would solve one logical problem of English grammar; it would serve as a useful contracted inverted form in the question "Ain't I?" Many prescriptivists prefer "Aren't I" in this situation; this is illogical in conjugation (the Hiberno-English and Scottish English form Amn't I? follows other patterns), and for speakers of non-rhotic accents may only be a baroque spelling of one possible pronunciation of the eighteenth century an't. Ain't is also obligatory in some fixed phrases, such as "Say it ain't so" and "you ain't seen nothing yet." Ain't may also be mandatory if one accepts African-American vernacular English (AAVE) as an alternative set of grammatical norms. In AAVE, ain't is used as a substitute for didn't in certain past tenses. Thus, one would say "she ain't called me" for "she hasn't called me". Ain't is also found to be a stereotyped word for most peoples from the South-Eastern states of America, and is commonly used in most casual conversational settings. Most usage writers continue to condemn the word.
THELAW
aint anit a word ya here me? lol. i think that its just a silly slang word used when someone is to lazy to say the original form, wether its "isnt" is is not or even "haven't" its just a lazy term. or so i belive.
chargoyle
Yes, technically ain't is a slang word, according to English teachers and dictionaries. However, to many people such as those in the southern United States (I can say this since that's where I'm from), ain't is a big part of language. It can be used to pretty much negate anything such as "ain't gonna happen" but the usage is expanded so much it can take the place of any 'not' word or can be used for a plethora of double negatives.
BruceTheDauber
AftershockVibe wrote:
invalid contraction


Why should we care if ain't is an "invalid contraction" or not? That seems a perfectly silly reason for rejecting a word. What are we to do with the word "don't"? Should we tell people that they ought to pronounce it "doont", because it is a contraction of "do not"? There are many things in the English language that are not logical, but are nonetheless accepted as "correct". "Aren't I" has been mentioned. Ain't, meanwhile, it not actually illogical, it just isn't a "valid contraction" of some of the various inflections for which it stands, which are themselves not necessary, because the changes in the verb don't carry any meaning. Replacing several unnecessary and meaningless inflections with one simple form actually represents an improvement in the language, by making it easier to learn and use. So, if logic dictated what was correct or incorrect in English, "ain't" would be correct, and all those other forms would be officially incorrect!
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