What does the contraction ain't mean? Is it appropriate to use it in formal settings?
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Ain't is the same as aren't and means are not but it is also used for am not, is not, has not, have not.
It definitely should not be used in formal settings.
From the Merriam-Webster:
Main Entry: ain't
Etymology: contraction of are not
Quoting @nohat :
The common bit of schoolyard wisdom that “ain’t ain’t in the dictionary, so ain’t ain’t a word” turns out to be untrue. Every online dictionary that I’ve ever looked in contained an entry for ain’t.
It is a colloquial word, informal, so probably shouldn't be used in formal settings,
unless you are a politican:)
Replaceable with am not, is not, and are not. It used more informal/colloquial conversations.
Ain't is the short form of :am not,is not,are not,has not,have not But it's not suitable to use it in formal speech