aren't I/ am I not as found on grammar error. com/ do you agree with them?

Hi there,

I found this on grammar errors. com

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.

Do you agree with this and are the following sentences correct:

  • Aren’t I a good enough player?
  • Am I not a good enough player?

Please shed some light on the use of ‘aren’t I’ and ‘am I not’ in questions.


I would agree with most of what you have said. Perhaps briefly you could say that Am I not? Is rhetorical or used in a declamatory sense for special effect. I could then say: Is it not? in place of Isn’t it?

I would say ‘aren’t I’ is best suited for question tags.

The point is that you can use a question tag in any situation.