“Ain’t” Ain’t a Word… Or Is It?

Growing up, my mom always used to say, “Ain’t ain’t a word, and I ain’t gonna use it!”

Strictly speaking, she was wrong (sorry, Mom). Ain’t IS a word – it’s an improper contraction. In fact, it’s pretty versatile and can mean am not, is not or are not.

I ain’t taking my car to that shop.

She ain’t repairing Nissans anymore.

They ain’t doing their jobs!


Now, ain’t can also mean has not or have not.

I ain’t been to any tradeshows.

He ain’t got the right tools.

They ain’t been here before.


Typically, ain’t is part of the American vernacular (or spoken) language, and using the word in formal writing is frowned upon; however, it’s commonly used in less formal writings such as in song lyrics and even blogs. Occasionally, professional writers may use ain’t for emphasis or comical purposes.

Well, I’ve been using ain’t most of my life, and I ain’t got any plans to stop using it. 😋

Tell me what you thought about this blog! Was it helpful? What are some grammar conundrums you contend with?

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