In this article you’re going to learn how you can avoid using double negatives and what you can say instead of using the word ‘ain’t’. First we understand what is a double negative?
What is a double negative?
A double negative in English is when there’s two negative words in the same sentence.
Usually the first word is not, or some contraction of not like isn’t, aren’t, didn’t, doesn’t, don’t, haven’t, and so on.
The second negative word is usually connected to no, like none, no one, nothing or nowhere.
In English, you cannot put two negative words together in your sentence. This is because it makes the meaning incredibly unclear and difficult to understand for people. It also sounds very unintelligent. So to help clear up this confusion, think about the fact that two wrongs do not make a right. And technically, in math, two negatives would make a positive. So if you have two negative words in your sentence, it’s confusing for listeners or readers because they might think the sentence is actually positive.
- I don’t want to go nowhere.
Don’t is negative and nowhere is negative. These two negatives cancel each other out. So I don’t want to go nowhere makes it sound like I’m saying I want to go somewhere, I don’t want to stay here and do nothing. But the meaning probably is closer to the idea that
I don’t want to go anywhere.
- He didn’t have no money.
Didn’t and no are both negatives. So this sentence is very unclear. It would make more sense to say
He didn’t have any money or he had no money.
This is how you can fix double negatives in your sentences.
There are two ways that you can fix double negatives:
- Make the first verb positive:- The first way is to make the sentence positive and just make the first verb positive.
For example: She doesn’t know nothing.
This sentence is a terrible sentence in English. So I could make it positive and say she knows nothing.
- Change the second negative into ‘any’:- The second way is to change the second negative into the word any. We use any for negative sentences.
For example: She doesn’t know nothing.
Use any to make it positive and say She doesn’t know anything.
Some more examples of double negatives words:
- There isn’t no play ground,
There is no play ground./ There isn’t any play ground.
- He hasn’t done no home work at all.
He has done no home work at all. / He hasn’t done any home work at all.
- I don’t know no one at the school.
I know no one at the school. / I don’t know anyone at the school.
- I didn’t go nowhere.
This sentence is in the simple past, so be careful if we make it positive. I went nowhere. / I didn’t go anywhere.
How to avoid ‘Ain’t’?
Ain’t isn’t actually a word. If you use the word ‘ain’t’ in a formal situation or on a test, you will look very unintelligent. Maybe in many songs you have heard the word ‘ain’t’, and when people are speaking very casually in slang, they might use the word ‘ain’t’. But I highly recommend to avoid using this word because it sounds very ignorant and unintelligent, because you might see it and hear it in different situations.
How ‘Ain’t’ works in English?
The word ain’t can actually represent five different words. So ain’t is a contraction with not, and it can represent the be verb or have. So eight could be am not, isn’t, aren’t, haven’t or hasn’t.
The important thing to note about ain’t is that whichever one of those words it is representing in a sentence, it is negative. It’s using the word not, so you definitely cannot use ain’t plus another negative word. Then you’ll have a double negative together with ain’t, which is terrible.
Some examples of ain’t word:
- I ain’t going nowhere.
I’m not going anywhere.
- You ain’t seen nothing yet.
You haven’t seen anything yet.
- There ain’t no sunshine.
There isn’t any sunshine.
So friends in this article you have learned how to fix double negatives in your sentences and what to use instead of using the word ain’t. I hope you understand if you any doubt you can comment below.