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"No, I amn't"
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flyingkiwi



Joined: 29 Jan 2007
Posts: 211
Location: In the Golden Gai in Shinjuku, arguing with Mama-san over my tab

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 12:14 am    Post subject: "No, I amn't" Reply with quote

One of the English teachers at my school has an interesting query. She is marking tests, and one student uses the expression, 'No, I amn't' when answering the question, 'Are you more than 170 cm tall?'.

Does this make sense? Have you ever seen this expression before? I certaintly haven't.

Then, the teacher looked it up on the internet, and the expression 'amn't' does actually exist. For example, 'I'm being blunt, amn't I?'

Your thoughts?
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markle



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 1316
Location: Out of Japan

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you really asking this question?

No, I'm not.

Students make mistakes because they are students. Teachers get confused by students mistakes because they are idiots.
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canuck



Joined: 11 May 2003
Posts: 1921
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 12:27 am    Post subject: Re: "No, I amn't" Reply with quote

flyingkiwi wrote:
One of the English teachers at my school has an interesting query. She is marking tests, and one student uses the expression, 'No, I amn't' when answering the question, 'Are you more than 170 cm tall?'.

Does this make sense? Have you ever seen this expression before? I certaintly haven't.

Then, the teacher looked it up on the internet, and the expression 'amn't' does actually exist. For example, 'I'm being blunt, amn't I?'

Your thoughts?


Google is great! Goes to show that everything has been discussed before, somewhere in the world...even this one. LOL

http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=95
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flyingkiwi



Joined: 29 Jan 2007
Posts: 211
Location: In the Golden Gai in Shinjuku, arguing with Mama-san over my tab

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Students make mistakes because they are students. Teachers get confused by students mistakes because they are idiots.


Ok, I'll go and tell her that. But, knowing she's quite touchy at the best of times, maybe not a good idea. Very Happy
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J.



Joined: 03 May 2003
Posts: 327

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 2:01 am    Post subject: I think Reply with quote

this is a logical developmental mistake. I've heard lots of little kids from North America go through this stage when learning to speak.
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injapantoday



Joined: 26 Apr 2005
Posts: 40
Location: japan

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Little kids in America making mistakes. But this is a native speaker who should have a university degree teaching English in Japan asking the question. Makes me think twice about the quality of a university education!
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wabisabi365



Joined: 04 Feb 2007
Posts: 111
Location: japan

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 2:58 am    Post subject: Irish... Reply with quote

http://merriamwebster.com/dictionary/amn't

My significant other, quite a smart lad in my opinion, uses it on occasion. I was skeptical, but was quickly introduced to some other Irish peculiarities when I brought it up. Oy, those quirky Irish...

ws365
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partialtone



Joined: 09 May 2007
Posts: 137
Location: CA

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mmmm, humble pie.
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JimDunlop2



Joined: 31 Jan 2003
Posts: 2286
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If your teacher had to look up "amn't" on the Internet, that's one thing. The real question is, did she then mark the question right on the student's test? If so, she's a fool.

The purpose of a test is to examine what students have LEARNED... And even if someone somehow stumbles upon a technically correct answer doesn't mean he should get it right. It's obvious in this case, that the student doesn't know any better and needs to work on his grammar a bit more.
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broman



Joined: 21 Apr 2007
Posts: 17
Location: USA upper left corner

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's possible the student may have been reading Raymond Chandler, author of The Big Sleep and creator of the character Philip Marlowe -- I've seen this contraction of am not used (correctly) in his novels from the Los Angeles area 1940s in the US.

No, it's not current American usage, but methinks, I daresay, that doesn't necessarily make it a "mistake" or anyone an "idiot." Perhaps asking the student where he or she got it might help to clear things up.

Ain't, of course, is another contraction of am not (and are not and is not). It's not considered proper formal usage, but it is grammatically correct and is used in many English language dialects and informally.
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flyingkiwi



Joined: 29 Jan 2007
Posts: 211
Location: In the Golden Gai in Shinjuku, arguing with Mama-san over my tab

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 4:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The English Teacher reckons the student got it from Junior High School Shocked
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The fact that amn't is found in some Scottish or Irish dialect doesn't make it a part of acceptable standard English.

Quote:
Notice that we have an imperfect paradigm: the negative contraction for "am not" seems to be missing. All the pronoun forms correlate to a positive form and a negative (contracted) form of the verb "to be" - all except one; there is no contractable form for "am not". Why not? The contraction of are+not is "aren't". The contraction of is+not is "isn't". Why isn't the contraction of am+not "amn't?"
In fact, in a wide swath of English dialects, it is. This word is common in Scotland and Ireland: "I amn't sure what he said" and "I am going, amn't I" are common in those variants of English. English doesn't like two nasal consonants like "m" and "n" together, however, and in most dialects they merged into "an't", the spelling of which eventually evolved into "ain't". "Ain't" then acquired the reputation of a "four-letter" word it has had to endure over the course of the last century. (Hmm. Actually, it has something in common with four-letter words, doesn't it?
These rather pertinent facts of the English language were overlooked by the prescriptive grammarians who have all these years attempted to totally obliterate ("amn't" and) "ain't" from the English vocabulary. http://www.alphadictionary.com/articles/drgw003.html


Personally, I think the teacher should be shot for accepting it unless he/she is Irish or Scot and has taught such a thing, or unless the student has spent considerable time in Ireland or Scotland. I accept most British English in my classes (where I as an American tend to dwell more on North American English), but this would be something I would give only partial credit to at best.

Reminds me of a situation in college chemistry class ages ago. The teacher was very frustrated over the fact that a student got 100% on every exam. He made one test especially hard with a certain question bound to trip up that student. The student gave an answer, and explained that it was a possible reaction at extremely cold temperatures, which was true but such an exception to the standards used in the regular course of events that I was astonished when the teacher caved in and gave full credit. But, I digress...
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JimDunlop2



Joined: 31 Jan 2003
Posts: 2286
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 4:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Glenski. That's exactly what I was trying to express but you said it much more eloquently than I can with this stinking cold I have. Feels like I'm perma-drunk....

There IS such a thing as a TECHNICALLY correct response which is still the wrong answer (and should be marked as such) on an exam.

Kinda like this "smart" fellow...



There's actually more examples of such shennanigans on the same webpage.

http://www.jimmyr.com/blog/Funny_Student_Exam_Answers_91_2007.php
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TK4Lakers



Joined: 06 Jan 2006
Posts: 159

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 7:04 am    Post subject: Another question Reply with quote

I have a question that was asked to me the other day:

What is the difference between
isn't
it's not

For example, "No, it isn't." and "No, it's not."
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jademonkey



Joined: 30 Mar 2007
Posts: 180

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I goed to the shops and buyed some new shoes. Then I eated a tasty pie before I catched the train home.

See, perfectly logical. Very Happy
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