7

I've heard both "I'm finna go to the store" and "He finna go to the store." Do we prefer with "is, am, are", or without? Is it a regional / dialectic difference, or are they interchangeable?

4

In African American Vernacular English, the verbs is and are usually (not always) get dropped, but the verb am is almost always kept. See for example Wikipedia. Thus, you may hear:

He finna go to the store,
I'm finna go to the store.

10

This is colloquial.

'Finna' means 'fixing to', its usage is similar to 'going to' or 'gonna', perhaps closer to 'getting ready to'.

If you're trying to use this slang in an otherwise properly constructed sentence then you would say, "I'm finna (fixing to) go to the store", but usage of this slang might go hand in hand with eschewing conventional sentence structure in which case do whatever the people you're trying to fit in with are doing.

  • 2
    Right. As I noted in answer to the question "What does 'fleek' mean and when was it first used?, a very famous early instance of the use of the phrase "on fleek" runs thus: "We in dis bitch, finna get crunk; eyebrows on fleek, dafuq?" There is no explicit auxiliary verb for finna in this quotation; instead it is implied in the structure "We ... finna ..." – Sven Yargs Aug 14 '15 at 20:06
  • @SvenYargs What an overwhelmingly in depth analysis you've provided! That was a good read, thanks for linking. – Dave Magner Aug 14 '15 at 20:27
  • @SvenYargs so would it have been incorrect to say (ignoring meter), "We in dis bitch, are finna get crunk; eyebrows on fleek, dafuq?" – nnythm Aug 14 '15 at 21:52
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    @nnythm: My interpretation of the speech pattern that Peaches Monroee (the person featured in the Vine excerpt from which the quotation is taken) uses here is that the implied "are" falls immediately after "We" at the beginning of the quotation and establishes two parallel branches of expression: "We [are] [1] in dis bitch, [2] finna get crunk." Whether Ms. Monroee would ever explicitly include "are" in such a construction is a matter of conjecture, but it seems to me that all English speakers show a great deal of variation in the words that they sometimes make explicit and sometimes omit. – Sven Yargs Aug 14 '15 at 22:07
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    There's a typo in your answer. It should be fixing to, not fitting to. – Peter Shor Aug 15 '15 at 12:15

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