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When I watched a movie in English, I heard a man say “it don't matter”.

What does it don't matter mean?

Does it sound similar to it doesn't matter?

  • 1
    Yes, what you are thinking is right: "it don't matter" means the same thing as "it doesn't matter". You'll often find that many native English speakers might use phrases similar to "it don't matter" in informal speech, and it is currently considered to be non-standard English. – F.E. Nov 23 '14 at 7:38
21

“It don’t matter” and “it doesn’t matter” are semantically equivalent.

“It don’t matter” goes against prescriptive grammar, but it is an extremely common usage in casual registers and various dialects.

You might choose this phrase to intentionally indicate a casual view of something, either sincerely or sarcastically. It probably gets a lot of use because people saying it are trying to communicate that something doesn’t matter, and that’s best done in a way that demonstrates lack of interest (in rules).

0

It's just vernacular. Best not to overthink it. Just imagine he's a fellow English learner.

Other examples include "ain't," "let me axe you a question," and "bitnezz (business)."

  • 1
    The wording is probably not because he's a "learner"; the wording is probably because he's grown up in an environment where grammar was not stressed. I think there's a difference. Moreover, two of your three other examples are pronunciation variants, not grammatical variants. That all said, I do agree that "ain't" is similar in use: grammatically incorrect, yet still spoken in some subcultures. – J.R. Nov 22 '14 at 10:11
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    @J.R. Ain't is non-standard, but this isn't a matter of grammar. In fact, it has its own grammatical rules and is usually used grammatically in non-standard Englishes. The following is grammatical but non-standard: !She ain't so bright. And the following is ungrammatical: *I try to ain't sleep this early. (Here, the ! marks an utterance as non-standard, while the * marks ungrammaticality.) – snailcar Nov 22 '14 at 22:15
  • Goodness, some of the people in this website are so uptight. The part about him being a learner was obviously a joke. – Crazy Eyes Nov 24 '14 at 15:47
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"It don't matter" is not English but a part of an English dialect or creole. I would imagine that this comes from an American dialect of some sort, as it was regarded as someone speaking "English". Or, perhaps - as suggested the person is learning English which internationally tends to be taught through the "American" dialect of English and not "British" English.

I would avoid the use of "It don't matter" and stick to "It doesn't matter" - using "It don't matter" does matter, to many it makes you appear ignorant of how to speak correctly.

UPDATE

People seem to have a misunderstanding about dialects and Languages. A dialect IS NOT a language. It makes USE of a language which in itself does NOT make them comparable nor equal. "It don't matter" is a phrase which contains English Language words. But is not an English Language phrase. It is however, accepted as a dialectal phrase; but that does NOT make it English.

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    What do double negatives have to do with it? – Russell Borogove Nov 22 '14 at 17:48
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    @DaveGordon - Might I suggest that you take a look at Huddleston and Pullam? – Stan Rogers Nov 23 '14 at 4:55
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    All utterances belong to one dialect or another. Your answer and comments are no exception. The phrase in question here is properly labeled non-standard English, which is a very different thing from "not an English Language phrase." The concept you're looking for is that of standard English. – snailcar Nov 23 '14 at 5:05
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    It's just basic linguistics. For an introduction, I suggest David Crystal's Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language. Once you're familiar with the concept of a dialect you can come back and revise this answer. – snailcar Nov 23 '14 at 5:14
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    There is, to put it bluntly, no such thing as a "language"; there are merely bundles of dialects, and that is probably more true of English than most "languages". And "Huddleston and Pullum" is The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, which is not the only descriptive grammar of English, but the most scholarly and comprehensive (you asserted that there was no descriptive grammar). – Stan Rogers Nov 26 '14 at 22:13

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