Ain’t

Ain’t is the short for ‘am not’, ‘are not’, ‘is not’, ‘have not’, and ‘has not’

Ain’t is a slang expression, used in spoken language, but not in written language (formal).

Examples:

• He ain’t very rich. = He isn’t very rich.

• She ain’t got a clue. = She hasn’t got a clue.

• He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother. (Famous song)

You can listen to the podcast from My Happy English. Michael explains everything about Ain’t ain’t a word in the podcast.

Ain’t ain’t a word because ain’t ain’t in a dictionary

Ain’t is acceptable in spoken or when you want to convey a vernacular tone. Omit ain’t in business, scholarly, or any other formal writings unless it is used in direct quotation, and never go around saying it in general conversation unless it is a part of joke or well-known saying. Everyone should use it occasionally as part of a joking phrase, but if you always use it instead of the most proper contractions, you are sure to be branded as uneducated. Treat it like spicy mustard: don’t make a whole sandwich from it.

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5 thoughts on “Ain’t

  1. May I ask?
    what’s the meaning of ‘Instead of’ and ‘Instead’ ?

    such as this sentence
    ‘but if you always use it instead of the most proper contractions’

    Like

      1. Reven, in bahasa Indonesia, ‘instead of’ means daripada and ‘instead’ means sebaiknya.
        – Drink tea instead of coffee. = Minum teh daripada kopi.
        – Instead of drinking coffee, it’s healthier to drink tea.
        – Don’t drink coffee too much, drink tea instead. = Jangan terlalu banyak minum kopi, sebaiknya minum teh.

        Like

    1. Reven, ‘instead of’ (preposition) and ‘instead’ (adverb) have the same meaning: in the place of somebody/thing. ‘Instead of’ is followed by a noun, eg.: Drink tea instead of coffee. Use ‘instead’ at the end of the sentence, eg.: Don’t drink coffee too much, drink tea instead.

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