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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: WHY ARE YOU SAYING "AIN'T"!? Do you know what it means?

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- Hello everyone and welcome back

to English with Lucy.

The other day I made a video on contractions

and the comments section was absolutely flooded

with people asking about the contraction ain't

and how to use it and if they should use it

and what it means.

Now the reason that ain't wasn't included

in my original contractions video is because it is slang.

In this video I'm going to teach you what ain't means,

very important, I'm going to teach you how we use it

and who sort of uses it and whether you should use it.

And believe me, there are reasons why you should use it

and reasons why you shouldn't use it.

So you will have to make that decision for yourself.

So this video is perfect for improving your vocabulary.

But if you want to improve your pronunciation

and listening skills even further,

I highly recommend the special method

of combining reading real books with listening

to their audio book counterparts on Audible.

Let me explain.

Take a book that you have already read in English,

or a book that you would like to read in English,

I've got loads of recommendations

in the description box down below.

And read that book whilst listening

to the audio book version.

Reading alone will not help you improve your pronunciation

because English is not a strictly phonetic language.

How something is written, doesn't necessarily give

and indicator to how it should be pronounced.

If you listen to a word as you read it,

your brain will start making connections

and the next time you see that word,

you'll know how it's meant to sound,

how you're meant to pronounce it

and the next time you hear that word,

you'll know how it's spelt.

It's such an effective method, and the best part is

that you can get one free audiobook,

that's a 30 day free trial by clicking

on the link in the description box and signing up.

Then you can download one of my recommendations,

or another book that you'd like to read.

Give it a try, the link's down below.

Right, let's get started with the lesson.

So ain't isn't a new contraction, it's very, very old.

It's been around for centuries, centuries and centuries.

So what is the meaning of ain't?

Let's talk about that first.

Ain't usually means am not, is not or are not.

Those are all the verb to be, plus not.

Or has not and have not.

Which are both the verb to have, plus not.

So ain't can mean various things.

That's part of the reason why

it's not so encouraged in English.

'Cause the meaning can be quiet ambiguous and unclear.

Now to check your understanding of this

and to give you a few examples,

I've decided to include a quiz.

It's a really quick, five question quiz

and you basically have to tell me what ain't means

in each of these five sentences.

Share your answers down below.

We'll help each other to learn and I will be checking

some of the earliest answers.

Are you ready?

Let's begin.

Number one, he ain't going tonight.

He ain't going tonight.

What does ain't mean here?

(clock ticking)

Number two, I ain't got my wallet with me.

I ain't got my wallet with me.

What does ain't mean there?

(clock ticking)

Number three, I ain't thinking straight.

I ain't thinking straight.

What does it mean?

(clock ticking)

Number four, she ain't given me the keys.

She ain't given me the keys.

What does ain't mean?

(clock ticking)

And the final question, number five,

they ain't due here till Tuesday.

They ain't due here till Tuesday.

What does ain't mean there?

(clock ticking)

Right, share your answers

in the comments section down below.

So that's what ain't means, but how and when is it used.

The most important thing you need to know

is ain't is incredibly informal.

There's informal and then there's ain't.

Ain't is really, really informal.

Many people think that ain't makes

the speaker sound uneducated.

You absolutely should not use it in professional situations

or in exams, trust me on that one.

Especially if you're not a native speaker

because it can make you sound a bit foolish or contrived,

like you're almost trying too hard to sound native

by using an incredibly slang word in the wrong situation.

However, I personally think,

and I'm sure many others agree with me,

that it's okay to use ain't in these four situations.

The first situation, number one, is if your personal dialect

or the dialect that you are trying to learn,

involves the frequent use of ain't.

For example, cockney.

If you've got cockney friends, and you want to fit in

and you want to speak the cockney dialect,

well then you better use ain't 'cause they will too.

To expand on that a little bit, the cockney accent

or dialect and many other dialects in the UK,

and I'm sure in America as well,

involve the frequent use of ain't.

And they even go a step further and use double negatives

as well and let me just briefly cover them

so that you understand them.

I'm saying you should use them, you can make that decision.

For example, I ain't got no money.

Which means I haven't got any money.

The literal translation would be I have got money.

'Cause I ain't got no, is the double negative.

You understand double negatives, don't you?

Or she ain't going to no party.

She isn't going to any or a party.

This is considered very bad English

and if you use it in the exam, don't say I didn't warn you.

Situation number two, it's okay to use ain't

if it's part of a set expression or idiom.

A couple I can think of are,

if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

That's a set expression, it's fine to use ain't

in that situation.

And if you're using that expression in an exam,

I think that would be okay, because it's known

and it's a very native thing to say.

Another one, you ain't seen nothing yet.

You ain't seen nothing yet.

That's used to indicate that no matter

how impressive something may seem,

it will be overshadowed by what's to come.

You'll be more impressed by what's to come.

It's also part of a song, which brings me

onto my next situation, number three,

it's fine to use ain't if you're writing song lyrics

or if you are singing a song with ain't in the lyrics.

Obviously I would never try and stop people

from using ain't in songs.

For example, aint no sunshine when she's gone.

There isn't any sunshine when she's gone.

It doesn't really have the same ring to it,

in my opinion.

Ain't is very commonly used in songs

and song lyrics because it fits better.

It's just one short word.

And it can also be part of

the songwriter's culture and heritage.

Now the last situation, number four,

it's okay to use ain't if you are trying to be comedic,

funny, or ironic.

For example, it ain't rocket science.

This is quite ironic and supposedly funny, I find it funny.

Not everyone will, it's quite British.

Because it isn't rocket science is used

to tell someone, you know, it's not that complicated.

You know, you'd have to be stupid not

to understand this.

But including ain't, which is considered uneducated,

kind of counteracts that.

It's a bit of an oxymoron.

Now the all important question, should you,

English students, use ain't?

Now if you're not in one of the situations

or if you ain't in one of the situations

that I previously mentioned, then my personal advice

to you is no, you shouldn't.

Now you can live your own life,

you can make your own decisions.

If you love the word ain't, and think it's awesome

and want to use it, I have no problem with that.

But I think you come to this channel for my professional

advice and so that's what I give you.

I don't think you should use ain't in your everyday life.

The reason why, it can sound very contrived,

like you're trying to sound really native

but it almost sounds over the top.

It's also considered non-standard or incorrect.

Native speakers tend to dislike the use of it,

unless they, themselves, use it frequently.

It can even be considered impolite,

especially by the older generation.

So just bear that in mind if you choose to use it.

I do think, however, that's it incredibly important

that you understand the word ain't,

which is why I've made this video.

I've seen a lot of people ask for this video

and I've also seen a lot of people trying to use ain't

but using it incorrectly.

So I thought I better help you out.

But yes, incredibly important that you know how it's used

because it's very likely that you'll hear it,

either spoken by natives or spoken on TV and in movies.

And here's a challenge for you,

the next time that you hear ain't on TV

or in a movie, make a note to ask yourself

what the scriptwriter was trying to do

by including the word ain't.

Are they trying to portray a character in a certain light

or is the character from a specific region

that speaks a dialect that involves

the frequent use of ain't?

Have a think.

Let me know and let me know in the comments

if you have seen a TV show or a movie

that involves the frequent use of ain't

and why you think they've done that.

Right, that's it for today's lesson.

I hope you enjoyed it and I hope you learned something.

I look forward to seeing your quiz answers down below.

And don't forget to check out Audible.

The link is in the description box.

You can claim your free audio book.

You can also connect with me on all of my social media.

I've got my Facebook, my Instagram,

my Twitter and my new personal, is it new anymore?

It's three months old, my personal channel.

A lot of you don't know about it

and a lot of people get confused.

Saying where's the English with Lucy channel?

This channel's called Lucy Bella Earl

and I talk about life, not English.

A lot of beauty products as well.

I talk about life, I talk about beauty.

I talk about hair, I talk about food.

I did a video with Will.

I just talk about things that I wanna talk about.

It's not a strictly educational channel.

Although I do feel like I am teaching.

Knit, sharing experiences.

Right, I will see you soon for another lesson.

It's so hot in this room.

It is 28 degrees outside.

29 and it's probably about 40 in here.

Hello everyone and welcome back.

And my God, my engagement ring.

All better, I've got it on now.

God, that could've started rumours

that our engagement was off, just after filming

the (mumbles).

Would not be ideal.

This is on, good.

Hello everyone and welcome back to English with La ugh.

This hair is a lot shorter than I remember it.

I highly recommend the special offer.

What does ain't mean there?

What does ain't mean there?

Many people think that it makes

the speaker sound uneducated.

And it can also be part of the culture.

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