Site Feedback

Undecided questions
Is it possible to use "aren't I" instead of "Am I not" and vice versa, are they interchangeable?

- Great. Here I am!
- Wait.
- Here who is where?
- Me.
- Aren't I your perfect roommate?
- Um...
- Think about it, Sheldon. I'm not a stranger, we're intellectually compatible, I'm willing to chauffeur you around town...
(From the Big Bang Theory)

For learning: English
Base language: English
Category: Language



    Please enter between 2 and 2000 characters.



    Sort by:

    They are more or less interchangeable. 'Am I not' is a lot more formal.

    I prefer "am I not" as "'aren't I'' has always sounded to me like a grammatical abomination. We all seem to have personal feelings about the use of language and I have always felt that ''aren't I" sounded a little pretentious, like Americans using the broad "a" in imitation of the British.

    Nevertheless, there are ways to avoid the expression entiirely by phrasing the statement in a different way. English is, unfrotunately, a hypotactic-prominent language, that is, it emphasizes formal cohesion, a rigid structure. Often the grammatical structure of the language does not seem to fit our thoughts and we have to rearrange them, use different words, to adhere to proper grammar. So, if I encounter a situation in which ''aren't I" imay be the "customary" usage, I use ''am I not." If that doesn't work, I simply choose other words.

    Submit your answer

    Please enter between 2 and 2000 characters.

    If you copy this answer from another italki answer page, please state the URL of where you got your answer from.