Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by Leepton, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. Leepton Member

    Hi I would kindly ask your help

    While I've reading an post, I've found the word "ain't" but although I've lookin for the definition I don't have got the mean and utilization.

    Mentre leggevo un "post" ho trovato la parola "ain't" ma nonostante aver cercato la definizione non ho capito il significato e l' utilizzo.

  2. You little ripper! Senior Member

    Australian English
    "Ain't" is not correct English. It should be "isn't" (singular) or "aren't" (plural) from the verb "to be".

    "Ain't" non è corretto. Dovrebbe essere "isn't" (singolare) o "aren't" (plurale) dal verbo "essere".
  3. thrice Senior Member

    Fort Worth, Texas
    English - U.S.
  4. Marcone Senior Member

    Des Moines, IA
    USA English
    We had a good discussion about the subject in this thread:
  5. You little ripper! Senior Member

    Australian English
    My dictionary (Webster's) says that it's non standard, should not be used in written speech, is colloquial and is used in illiterate speech. I suppose because of such common usage, it is becoming more accepted. I wouldn't use it except when joking around.
  6. thrice Senior Member

    Fort Worth, Texas
    English - U.S.
    yeah, it's definitely slang and not accepted in formal speech/writing. It's very common in informal speech, however. It's probably something someone learning the language should know, but not use.

    "ain't" is a slang verb that means "am not"/"is not"/"are not". it conjugates into

    I aint
    you ain't
    he/she/it ain't
    we ain't
    you(p) ain't
    they ain't
  7. DesertCat Senior Member

    inglese | English
    It may be common in informal speech in some areas of the US but I don't hear it much on the West Coast (thankfully).

    I would recommend that you not use it.
  8. Howard Coberly

    Howard Coberly Senior Member

    Irvine, California


    Per essere onesto, suggerirei che tu eviti questa parola. In questo paese, per la maggiore parte, la gente chi usa questa parola e considerata incolta. (Spero che questo ha avuto senso. Non sono sicuro se l'ho scritto correttemente)

  9. Leepton Member

    Thanks all for the support

    I've understoot than this is uncommon expression used for joke or from colloquial friendly conversation.

    ain = am I

    ain't = am I not

    Thank's to:Charles Costante, thrice, Marcone, DesertCat & Howard Coberly

    I've read all yours reply and respective links, now I thought to have clarify my doubt
  10. radiation woman

    radiation woman Senior Member

    Wales English
    Just one final point - there's no such word as "ain". You only have "ain't" in the negative. It's not a proper word which can be broken down into "ain" and "not".
  11. Drusillo

    Drusillo Senior Member

    Stuttgart- Germany
    Solo piccoli errori,

    To be honest = Per essere sincero

  12. lsp

    lsp Senior Member

    US, English
    ... a couple of things, hope they help.
  13. Leepton Member

    Grazie LSP!!! se imparo Bene l' inglese Ti OFFRO una PIZZA!! :D
  14. Leepton Member

    comunque resto sempre convinto che esiste anche il termine "ain" come si puo leggere nella definizione a questo link.
    " "
    aspetto il vostro parere per considerarlo esatto

  15. Marcone Senior Member

    Des Moines, IA
    USA English
    "ain" è una parola Scozzese. In AE non è mai usata.
  16. lsp

    lsp Senior Member

    US, English
    I accept your offer and will do what I can to help make it happen!

    ps That ain (Scottish) is not related to ain't
  17. leenico

    leenico Senior Member

    U.S.A. english
    Don't count on it. It ain't gonna happen. :D
  18. lsp

    lsp Senior Member

    US, English
    It ain't over 'til it's over.

    ps avrei detto lo stesso se fossi stato tu ad offrirmelo. ;)
  19. Panpan

    Panpan Senior Member

    Sawbridgeworth, UK
    England, English
    'Ain' means own. 'On my ain' means on my own/ by myself. Only used north of the border.
    Ain't is very common in vernacular and informal speech in BE for I am not/He, She, It is not/We, They are not. You will hear it all the time in England.
    We don't use it in written language or in formal situations.
  20. Howard Coberly

    Howard Coberly Senior Member

    Irvine, California

    Grazie per le correzione !!!
  21. Max.89

    Max.89 Senior Member

    Mi spiegate quando viene usato ain't?
    So che puo' sostituire is e poi?
  22. k_georgiadis

    k_georgiadis Senior Member

    NJ, USA
    English (AE)
    "Ain't" is bad English and is used instead of "isn't." You probably heard it in the movies, uttered by poorly educated characters. When to use it? My suggestion is: never
  23. systema encephale

    systema encephale Senior Member

    As far as I know it's the contraction of "(I) am not", but it's used for "isn't" as well. I like it although it ain't.. sorry ;) ... is not really correct.
  24. k_georgiadis

    k_georgiadis Senior Member

    NJ, USA
    English (AE)
    True, S.E., the hillbillies also say "I ain't," "we ain't." Poor English in all instances.
  25. ElaineG

    ElaineG Senior Member

    Brooklyn NY
  26. tonythepony70 New Member

    Qualcuno mi spiega allora cosa significa il titolo della canzone Ain't No Other Man di Christina Aguilera?
  27. GavinW Senior Member

    British English
    (There) ain't no other man", where "no" is "wrong" (double negative), "non-standard", or dialect, or "esp AmE informal" (take your pick!) for "any".

    "There isn't any other man" ie you're/he's the only man in my life (I guess, I don't know the song)
  28. Moogey Senior Member

    New Jersey, USA
    USA English
    You can see more here. This word has infinite meanings!

  29. kan3malato

    kan3malato Senior Member

    Once I said : "I ain't mad at cha" and a my American friend answered :"wow it's cool" (or something like that).
    Then she explained to me that " ain't " is used in the south of the USA.

    I hope it help
  30. Jacob Senior Member

    New Jersey, United States
    English (United States)
    It's used all over, not just in the South.
    I live in the north and I hear people say it all the time. I used to say it when I was little.
  31. kan3malato

    kan3malato Senior Member

    I'm happy to hear such words, so that, wrong or not, correct or less, everybody in all part of the USA say it:D
  32. Moogey Senior Member

    New Jersey, USA
    USA English
    It's used more in the south, but it's used everywhere :)

  33. ForzaMilan Senior Member

    Per favore, non usa "ain't" (You will sound like a hick)
  34. moodywop Banned

    Southern Italy
    Italian - Italy
    Without expressing any judgments about whether it should be labelled substandard/nonstandard/very colloquial (which, as a non-native, I am not qualified to make), I'll just say that, as a lover of old soul music and traditional/modern blues, I hear "ain't" all the time in these songs. It is part and parcel of the distinctive "feel" of these musical genres:

    It ain't necessarily so (G Gershwin)

    Ain't no sunshine when she's gone (Stevie Wonder?)

    It ain't me, babe (Bob Dylan)

    Ain't No Mountain High Enough (Marvin Gaye)

    e dulcis in fundo:

    Ain't got no...I got life(Nina Simone - struggente!)

    Ascoltatela col testo qui
    (se non vi piace avete bisogno di un trapianto di cuore!)

    Un inno alla vita - e alla dignità insopprimibile di ogni essere umano

    PS Correggere "ain't" in queste canzoni sarebbe come correggere "I' t' vurria vasà" e sostituire "io vorrei baciarti". Come on, guys! Loosen up! Variety is good:thumbsup:
  35. Moogey Senior Member

    New Jersey, USA
    USA English
    I'll admit that while it's bad grammar and you probably shouldn't use it, there are times when it is ok in everyday speech. Just not in formal situations!

  36. lsp

    lsp Senior Member

    US, English
    In very limited contexts, like when you're kidding around with friends.
    Caution, its use is so limited that a foreigner might sound like he/she doesn't know better. Unless you're writing lyrics, I'd steer clear of it with anyone you don't know very well!
  37. giacinta Senior Member

    Glad for the list of songs provided by Moodywop but the first one that came into my mind was the evergreen Elvis " You ain't nothing but a hound-dog".

    I would be very careful about the company I tested it on and I would advise against writing it in any circumstance.

  38. moodywop Banned

    Southern Italy
    Italian - Italy
    Well, Giacinta, though I like the sound of the word in songs I completely agree with you. I don't think I've ever used it myself except jocularly in catchphrases like "if it ain't broke don't fix it".
    Of course it's also commonly used in Cockney speech. And it's not just a question of the company one keeps. Some words or phrases just sound incongruous on a foreigner's lips. In London I worked and socialized with a Cockney for several years. But I would have made a fool of myself (or 'a right berk', as he would say) if I'd started replacing my t's with glottal stops and saying know wha' I mean?:D
  39. padredeocho Banned

    United States
    Depends on your audience. I write for a living, and, as a general rule, I don't use AINT. However, If I were trying to be folksy (in other words, laid back, loose, etc.), I would certainly use it. This is because it is sooooo common in the USA, and it means you are "shootin straight" with somebody, or "being frank". I might look at one of my high school students who keeps talking out of turn, and say, "I ain't gonna put up with that much longer." The student would know that I was being direct and frank, and would likely start raising his hand when he wanted to speak. We need to throw away our dictionaries at times, and focus more on conveying a thought in a way that it will be properly understood. That's why I nearly never use WHOM in speech (unless it comes after a preposition). I want to be seen as communicating, and not trying to impress somebody with my grandiose language skills. It all depends on one's audience. In other words, don't show up in a tuxedo to an outdoor swimming party - unless you want to look like an idiot. On a basketball court, players use quick, efficient slang. When they are open to take a shot, they simply yell YO. They don't say, "Excuse me, Frank, I am available to attempt a field goal, so could you please toss me the ball when it is convenient for you." A thought needs to be conveyed. On a basketball court there is no time to care what the grammarians of the world may think of you. The phrase AINT THAT A SHAME is very acceptable by the way. Most writers would not dare use it, but EVERYBODY in the English speaking world clearly knows what it means. So, why we consider it "wrong" bewilders me. People forget that "AREN'T I" makes NO logical sense. I is a singular word, and ARE is a plural word. A long time ago, we used to say AM NOT I, or AMN'T I. This was replaced by the head-scratcher AREN'T I. After all, you would never say this: Isn't it the case that I are going, too? So, then, why is it okay to say this: I am going to AREN'T I? In that sentence we change the conjugation from am to are after just TWO WORDS! Somehow, this lunacy became acceptable. Now, ain't is a much more logical conjugation than aren't. At any rate, I ain't gonna use ain't much cause ain't ain't accepted by most right thinkin people.
  40. moodywop Banned

    Southern Italy
    Italian - Italy
    Great post and great examples, too, padredeocho:tick: . Brace yourself for a public lynching now:D Oh and give us a shout if you need any help:)
  41. giacinta Senior Member

    Dear Padredeocho,
    With respect, you have missed the point!
    I have no problem with a native (like you) using slang--quite the contrary. But the point I am making (and I think the point that Moodywop was responding to by his examples of when he lived in the UK) is that until you are very au fait with a foreign language, it is inadviseable to test out some of these quite subtle ( in terms of the ambience in which they are used) expressions until you are very confident about their meanings and usage.

    An Italian migrant to Australia in the 50s wrote a book called "They're a weird mob" in which he caricatured an Italian misusing Aussie slang. It was a hit and a hoot. The use of slang is, in my view, an acquired skill. You need a tough hide - or else you may end up a laughing stock.

  42. padredeocho Banned

    United States
    Yes, you can make yourself look like a laughing stock very easily. I am sure I did just that when I was in Argentina. However, foreigners also get a kick out of it when somebody uses a bit of their slang - even when done so improperly. I once heard a Mexican woman tell me to WAIT at her door because she was "taking [her] baby a bath". I smiled. Idioms are so hard to learn. The one I love in English is "head over heels in love." Now, as a foreigner, what would be so impressive about that? After all, weren't we ALL head over heels even before we fell in love! (Now, if were were HEELS OVER HEAD that would really be something!) I think so long as you stay away from CRIMINAL or OFFENSIVE slang, what the heck, jump in with both feet, take a swing at it, give it the old college try, or shoot for the moon. At worst, somebody will give you a weird look, and say, "What?"
  43. moodywop Banned

    Southern Italy
    Italian - Italy
    Well, it all depends how advanced a foreign learner you are and whether you have picked up the subtle connotations that words carry.

    After ten years in London I felt confident enough to decide which slang words or technically incorrect but widely used structures I could assimilate into my English.

    It is a choice you make on the basis of the informality of the context, the crowd you hang around with and - last but not least - your personality.

    Just as I routinely and perfectly consciously use structures in my native language that some of the stuffier Italians here disapprove of (they've never heard of "register")* I feel I am perfectly capable of making the same choices in a language that I spoke every day for ten years and have been learning and teaching for thirty-odd years.

    An example? I will use "loo" or "bog" to refer to a toilet - but not "karzy". It's my personal stylistic choice and I would want to accord the same linguistic freedom to foreigners who speak Italian fluently - like some members who have lived here for years and are perfectly capable of evaluating for themselves the implications of the language they choose to use.
    The same goes for profanities. The choice of how many to use and how often rightly varies from individual to individual.
    Let me emphasize it again - I'm only speaking of foreigners who are extremely proficient in the language and have lived here for some time.
    I raised this issue in a thread on purism in the Cultural Discussions forum: link.

    * despite my objections some of these usage guardians insist on giving misleading information to learners - the most glaring, ludicrous example: "using the present tense to speak about the future is technically incorrect":eek: . This ridiculous notion has been paraded twice recently. People who would fail a first-year Linguistics exam for not knowing the difference between "time" and "tense" carry on spouting this nonsense. I used to object more often but I've grown tired. It's an uphill struggle.
  44. M_07 Senior Member

    Non è usato anche per dire:
    I haven't?
    If I ain't got you.(A.Keys)=If I haven't got you, I guess.
  45. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
    Ain't = isn't, aren't, hasn't, haven't and am not as a wee bird suggested :)
  46. M_07 Senior Member

    I've heard "I ain't married!" also.:)
  47. padredeocho Banned

    United States
    Ain't is perfectly acceptable in songs and fiction. It is used ALL the time. I wouldn't use it in an English paper for school, but outside of that, it is very common.
  48. M_07 Senior Member

    No problem, we won't ever use it.:)
  49. TrentinaNE

    TrentinaNE Senior Member

    English (American)
    Una piccola correzione. Non si usa il doppio negativo (not + never) in inglese. ;)

  50. Arrius

    Arrius Senior Member

    English, UK
    Ain't used to be used even by the upper classes in England, formerly even the Royal Family) up to the First World War and by some well-off people even later. The upper crust also used to drop their Gs and talk about huntin', shootin' and fishin'. Aint gradually began to be considered "common", i.e. incorrect English, associated with the uneducated. In the same way the ealier pronunciations weskit (waistcoat) and forred (forehead) came to be pronounced as they are spelt (weistko:t and fawhed) as general education improved. I, myself, still say forred but I am in a small minority.
    Dorothy L. Sayers' aristocratic amateur detective, Lord Peter Wimsey, whose adventures are set in the 1920s has all these peculiarities in his speech.

Share This Page