First of all, thx for this site. It's great for me. I read it everyday, because I want to grow up my english skills. I'm from Poland btw. :)

My question is this:

What does it mean 'ain't'? I don't understand this language-tool. Could U explain it to me? I will be very greatfull! :)


"ain't" is an informal contraction of "am not; are not; is not", or "has not; have not."
For example: "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" → If it is not broken, do not fix it.
"they ain't got nothing to say" → They have nothing to say.

  • Thx U very much! Now I understand! :) – Miki Jun 22 '15 at 18:03
  • Surely the second example is a poor choice without special disclaimers. It reads as "ain't got" = "have", or, by the rules, should translate to "they have not got nothing to say", and then there's the double-negative. – Avon Jun 22 '15 at 18:15
  • @Avon: By any rules, "X ain't got nothing to say" is a double negative - same as I can't get no satisfaction and We don't need no education But these are perfectly natural and common usages, so since this isn't English Language Learners, I see no reason to include any kind of "disclaimer" here. – FumbleFingers Jun 22 '15 at 18:20
  • @FumbleFingers ok... and on the fact that the translation doesn't follow the given rules? In short, I disagree a little bit. I think it's a misleading example. – Avon Jun 22 '15 at 18:24
  • Sorry, I apologise for my mistake! I only noticed it after posting my message, you're right Avon. As for the disclaimers, as the sentences indeed appeared of "common usage", I deemed them unnecessary. – Liz Jun 22 '15 at 18:28

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.