need help ?

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ceid donn
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Re: need help ?

Postby ceid donn » 2018-07-17, 15:58

No, it's not a hypercorrection. It's simply an example of informal speech that's evolved in a way that is comfortable and logical for most native speakers.

"Am I not?" is the grammatically correct form but that doesn't flow in fast speech. But here's the hitch: to be (present tense) + not doesn't contract the same for 1st person singular forms in fast speech as the 2nd and 3rd person forms:

I'm not
You're not or You aren't
It's not or It isn't
We're not or We aren't
You're not or You aren't
They're not or They aren't

See how the first person singular is different? It's easy to invert you aren't and it isn't into question form:

Aren't you?
Isn't it?


With 1st person plural, we can do this inversion easily as well:

Aren't we?

So this is really where we get the the informal "Aren't I?" It's just native speakers making the 1st person form fit the pattern of all the other forms, and in doing so, making it more comfortable in fast speech. Otherwise, we're stuck with the clunky "Am I not?"

This is the thing with most informal speech that you will encounter time and time again: it may not be "grammatical correct" but it is intuitive and logical to native speakers.

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