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  • aren’t I/am I not

    The expression aren’t I is often used in place of am I not, particularly in conversational speech.

    Example 1 (incorrect usage): I’m going with you on vacation, aren’t I?

    Although the use of this phrase is widespread, it is atrocious English that could be considered equivalent to you is, a phrase which most educated people abhor (although for some reason, these same people have no qualms about saying aren’t I). The correct form of the sentence in Example 1 is as follows:

    Example 2 (correct usage): I’m going with you on vacation, am I not?

    If you read this sentence aloud, it probably sounds awkward and formal, perhaps even a bit hoity-toity. However, it is correct English. If the phrase aren’t I is converted from a question to a statement, I aren’t, it becomes obvious that it is indeed grammatically incorrect.

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    Posted by Rachel V. in Grammar

    73 Responses to “aren’t I/am I not”

    Thank you for taking the time to add your thoughts to the discussion. I can't respond to every comment, but I read and appreciate them all.

    1. Charan, India says:

      “Am I not” is a strong phrase and is supposed to be used only by very powerful or highly respected people. It reflects the authority and self esteem of the person using it. You need to be absolutely sure that the opposite person is far below in status when you use this term.
      Else it is an arrogant and impolite way of conversing.

      The only people who can use “Am I not” phrase without contemplation are:
      1. Pope of Rome
      2. President of United States
      3. Queen of the British Royal Family

      For all others, you need to be very judicious when using this phrase.
      “Aren’t I” is a safe and polite way of communicating.

      Grammatically, “Am I not” is the correct phrase
      whereas “Aren’t I” is an accepted way of conversing.


    2. Chris says:

      Well iyz iz sayin dat , proper English should be spoken as clearly and as naturally as possible lest, diz lang. iz gonna go lyke titz up yo; logical scientifically spoken responses will be rendered unreadable to the masses creating a large divide between the population, den itz iz gonna lyke mess up all dat werk weez ‘as dun 2 , remove stereotyping and labeling of others due to popular trends and cultural behaviour . ALSO our culture would become looked upon as sloppy, anz dis-res-pek-tful yo

    3. gene says:

      ZAT YOU BRO?.,;’/><

    4. Ron Powers says:

      We’s be thinkin he don’t know nuttin bout inglish. Why does we need grammer? Evrybody know what I be sayin, so we doesn’t need no rules.