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I was using this messenger app Waike and i found one of user posting I ain't got no money. I felt it should be I don't have any money.

So does this both have same meaning or what?

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  • This question has already been asked and answered. Excellent answer here.
    – None
    Jul 2, 2016 at 5:46
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    Laure: the question is not only about "ain't", there is a double negative to consider too.
    – djna
    Jul 2, 2016 at 5:50
  • @Laure I know what ain't means. but I am wondering how it can be used in negative manner as I mentioned in my question. Jul 2, 2016 at 5:58
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    Ain't and negatives and “You ain't no Human.”
    – None
    Jul 2, 2016 at 6:03

1 Answer 1

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I ain't got no money

is technically incorrect, but conforms to a widely used idiom; native English speakers would recognise the meaning.

First, ain't is a very informal (scorned by strict schoolteachers) contraction of am not. As the question referenced by Laure indicates there are similar contractions for have not, but I have rarely heard those used.

So a more usual use of ain't

I ain't goin' to school today

would mean

I am not going to school today.

We need to read ain't as meaning have not in the question's example; this would be understood by native speakers.

The second issue here is that there is a double negative

I have not got no money

so a pedant will say: "if you do not have no money you must have some money"

So, yes, would be more correct to say

I do not have any money

or

I have no money

However there is no actual ambiguity here we all understand

I ain't no money

and similarly

I ain't go nobody to love me ...

These formulations are common in traditional Blues songs.

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  • So basically It's not correct but still used widely? Jul 2, 2016 at 6:10
  • Widely understood. Rarely said by well-educated people; I would only say it in a joking way where I was confident that my listeners know that I know it's not correct English.
    – djna
    Jul 2, 2016 at 6:16

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