She aint no actress

EnG_newbie

Member
Chinese
Just heard the song that was singing

"She aint no actress."

I know this is not a correct sentence as a formal English.

But, what is this mean?
She is an actress?

Thank you
 
  • Fabulist

    Banned
    American English
    Correcting the "ain't," the sentence is, "She isn't no actress." The "double negative" is condemned as illogical, and considered substandard, because logically, if she is not "no actress" then she must be "some actress," or "an actress."

    However, nobody uses this construction to mean that she is an actress. It is only heard—and it is used despite the lectures of grammar teachers—by people who mean "She is not an actress."

    If you believe those who assert that the double negative is correct for emphasis because it is used in other languages and was used in English hundreds of years ago, then "She isn't no actress" means "She definitely is not an actress" instead of just "She is not an actress."

    Almost all educated people who hear you say, "She ain't no actress," or "She isn't no actress," will assume that you mean that she is not an actress, but will also assume that you are ignorant of the finer points of English grammar.
     

    mplsray

    Senior Member
    Just heard the song that was singing

    "She aint no actress."

    I know this is not a correct sentence as a formal English.

    But, what is this mean?
    She is an actress?

    Thank you
    As others have said, the sentence is equivalent to the standard English sentence "She is not an actress." This sort of negation is called "negative concord." The negative words work together to make a single negation. As has also been said, most speakers of standard English would understand the intended meaning, because we have had much exposure to nonstandard dialects which use negative concord.

    Please note that although ain't is a nonstandard usage, it does has a standard spelling, in which the apostrophe is used. With the exception of its use by certain scholars of African American Vernacular English, who deliberately spell the word without an apostrophe (as they do some other words, such as talkin instead of talkin' for that dialect's version of the word talking*), spelling the word as aint will be taken by most educated speakers of English speakers to be a sign of ignorance.

    *Please note that they have strong arguments for spelling the words this way. These arguments, however, have not yet persuaded most standard English speakers to spell these words without the apostrophe.
     
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