the use of "ain't"?

I sometimes encounter the English word "ain't", but am not sure what it exactly mean or how to use it. 

What is it short for?Do you use it for any of 'do not', 'am not', 'has not', and so on?

12 Answers

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  • John P
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago
    Favourite answer

    'Ain't' can mean 'is not';  'am not';  'are not';  'has not';  and probably a few other 'verb + not' expressions, depending on context.   Gigapie is right that it does not mean: "do not" - it just ain't got that meaning!  ('has not got that meaning')

    It is a sociolect, meaning an expression used by certain groups of people.  In a middle-class home in southern England in the 1950s, 'ain't' is one of the expressions I was definitely not allowed to use.

    Best not to use it in speech until you are sure that people around you use it.  Do not use in writing, except as a direct report of somebody's speech pattern.

  • 3 weeks ago

    ‘Ain’t’ is a common slang word now in the dictionary meaning ‘am not’ or something like that. 

  • F
    Lv 6
    4 weeks ago

    99% John P. Just like to add, really a cockney word , spread through the Home Counties especially places with “over flow” Londoners like Basildon and Chatham and use by mockneys everywhere.

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    It means "am not," "is not," "are not," "has not," and "have not."

    It does NOT mean "do not".

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  • A.J.
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    This is actually a difficult one. English teachers may say it isn't a word and do not use it. Merriam Webster explains "Is ain't a word?: Usage Guide"

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ain't 

    Originally as are not (aren't), it gets colloquial as also

    is not (isn't), am not, has not (hasn't), have not (haven't)

    The grammar is of the whole sentence is often incorrect. It is colloquial, and is tied with lack of education, but expressions do find there way into use. I ain't got no money.

    I ain't got nobody.

    Two out of three ain't bad.

    A song lyrics search with just the word ain't in lyrics Exact match returns the maximum 1000.

    http://www.songlyrics.com/

    The music group Queen, song "Another One Bites The Dust"

    Steve walks warily down the street

    The brim pulled way down low

    And ain't no sound but the sound of his feet

    Machine guns ready to go

    "and ain't no sound" = And there isn't any sound

    "There" becomes an implied word

    ain't = isn't

    no = any

    This is a word after getting accustomed to spoken English, when you can use "ain't" for a special emphasis. 

    In a song, since word flow and melody are important, the phrase is good.

    Michael Jackson - "Beat It"

    You have to show them that you're really not scared

    You're playin' with your life, this AIN'T no Truth or Dare

    They'll kick you, then they beat you, then they'll tell you it's fair

    So beat it, but you wanna be bad

    >> this ain't no Truth or Dare

    "Truth or Dare" is a party game that you can look up.

    This isn't Truth or Dare.

    The double negative has one "not" ignored.  

  • 4 weeks ago

    It "ain't" [I'm not, you're not, s/he's not, etc.] correct English.  Don't use it if you want to look educated.

    edit:  "Ain't" never means "HAS not."  "Ain't" is a form of "to be", not "to have."

  • rodcom
    Lv 6
    4 weeks ago

    It was a common slang word which is not a true contraction, and was corrected by English teachers everywhere for many years.  It is never to be used in formal writing.

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    it's informal and nonstandard, and it is a contraction of is not, are not, am not, has not 

  • 4 weeks ago

    It's common usage, kind of a slang term, rather than "proper" English.

    It can mean "is not", "are not" "am not", depending on the subject of the sentence (I ain't = I am not;  he/she/it ain't = he/she/it is not; you ain't = you are not; they ain't = they are not)

  • 4 weeks ago

    Slang for "is/are not".

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