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Ain’t is a slang expression.

It’s extremely versatile, which means it can be used in many ways. Of course, as it is 'slang' you have to be careful how you use it.

It has been around for hundreds of years and can be seen in the works of Charles Dickens, whose characters used a lot of ‘cockney’ expressions

‘Cockney’ is a dialect of London English, but that story is for another day. Walk down any street in New York, Melbourne or London and you’re going to hear it being used.

So how do we use it?

Well it can be used to replace the following:

am not = ain’t

isn’t = ain’t

aren’t = ain’t

haven’t/hasn’t = ain’t

don’t/doesn’t = ain’t

There are 3 different patterns we can use. Let's take a look at them.


① Negative Contraction

Let’s look at how to use it as a simple negative contraction. A contraction just means to make something short.

So how do we use it?

I ain’t going to the party.

I'm not going to the party.

He ain’t sure.

He isn’t sure.

You ain’t serious.

You aren’t serious.

I ain’t seen him today.

I haven’t seen him today.

She ain’t come home yet.

She hasn’t come home yet.


② Double Negative

Let’s look at how to use it as a double negative

So this can be kind of complicated, which means it’s not quite so simple. If you have a double negative it means a positive. Let unbox this a little bit

This apple is not undelicious.

So not is negative and undelicious is a negative so that means it is a positive meaning - it’s delicious. By the way 'undelicious' is not an official word, but it's something people might say.

So how do we use it?

Here’s the first example

(A) I ain’t got no money.

So I ain’t got no money? So that means you have some money - doesn’t it?

Let’s translate it into regular grammar

Step 1

I don’t have no money. (This is incorrect but conversational)

Step 2

I don’t have any money. (This is correct and conversational)

Let’s look at another one

(B) I ain’t done nothing.

So that means you did something? It’s a double negative

Translated into regular grammar it would be

Step 1

I haven’t done nothing. (This is incorrect but conversational)

Step 2

I haven’t done anything. (This is correct and conversational)

So as I said, it is super casual way of talking.

Just bear that in mind!


③ Tag Questions

We can also use it at the end of a sentence as a negative tag. Just to jog your memory, a negative tag is something like this

isn’t it? aren’t they? doesn’t he?

So how do we use it?

It’s a lovely day, ain’t it?

It’s a lovely day, isn’t it?

He’s your son, ain’t he?

He’s your son isn’t he?



Let’s talk a little bit about the pronunciation

Ain’t ends in a ’T’ but it’s usually not pronounced very strongly or should I say, it AIN’T pronounced very strongly.

It's pronounced almost the same as 'paint.'



Ain't is an expression that you will hear a lot in movies, dramas and especially music. It's a very casual way of speaking, but it also sounds kind of cool. I guess that's why it's used in movies and songs so much. Please watch the VIDEO LESSON on YouTube!

Thanks for reading!




​【コックニー】 東ロンドンで生まれ育った人達が使う方言









jog your memory


bear in mind


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