Open Menu
Section of English Grammar

Try mSpy Phone Tracker for Your Kid's Safety

Bad grammar (James@War) (black)
Touch a word or the <play> button for sound
Click on a word or on the <play> button for sound
Click on a word or on the red <play> button for sound

In colloquial English grammar rules are often broken, at least some are. This is a parody of the song that made English teachers cringe: "The Way I Are", by Timbaland. Believe it or not, all the "grammar mistakes" you're going to find in this song are real English, and some are very common in colloquial language.

Remember grammar school, baby?
JamesatWar, Sheena and Marina are taking you back.

I ain’t got no reason
I ain’t got no motive to articulate
My consonants and vowels
I see no good reason to enunciate
(talk to me girl)

Baby, it's alright you got no eloquence
As long as it rhymes it don't have to make sense
Jus’ throw out all those grammatical elements
There ain' no need to say it right

It's the latest trend, go and tell your friends
We can all begin to use some bad grammar
All the latest songs like to say it wrong
We be singin’ wit’ some bad grammar
Take the last letter off the end of words
Now you talkin’ wit’ some bad grammar
I ain' pullin’ tricks wit’ my linguistics
I'm jus' talkin' talkin', talkin'

I don't use no syntax
I ain’ got no idea
what a singular verb is
I'm worser at superlatives
And I don't ever use no double negatives

Talk to me girl

Baby, it's alright c'mon now don't be scurred
It's all the latest craze to mispronounce some words
Like instead of "that right there", we would say "that right thurr"
And we won't even spell it right

It's the latest trend, go and tell your friends
We can all begin to use some bad grammar
All the latest songs like to say it wrong
We be singin’ wit’ some bad grammar
Take the last letter off the end of words
Now you talkin’ wit’ some bad grammar
I ain' pullin’ tricks wit’ my linguistics
I'm jus' talkin' talkin', talkin'

Baby girl, When I took my English class, you know I barely passed
Listen baby girl, got no proper verbal skills but I be wearin’ grillz
Listen baby girl, I ain’ gotta talk da talk to make ma record pop
So that's why, baby girl, when I'm talkin’, it seems impaired, seems impaired, yeah.

Yo, my grammar ain' no prodigy
Ma strongest suit isn't morphology
It's hard for people to be understanding me
Never changed my verbal habits since I was three

So, Listen baby girl, before you make another sound, make sure that you're on par
Cuz listen baby girl, We talkin’ wit’ some bad gramma’, bad gramma’, yeah

It's the latest trend, go and tell your friends
We can all begin to use some bad grammar
All the latest songs like to say it wrong
We be singin’ wit’ some bad grammar
Take the last letter off the end of words
Now you talkin’ wit’ some bad grammar
I ain' pullin’ tricks wit’ my linguistics
I'm jus' talkin' talkin', talkin'

James, with that language, you’re staying after the school for detention.

In this song, the comedian JamesatWork is making a parody of the horrible English many modern singers use, especially in America, especially if they’re black (because most of them have a social dialect, different from standard English), especially if they sing rap. The slang or non-standard forms of English that you can find in this song are, most of them, found both in BrE and AmE varieties, but all the non-standard deviations are more common in America than in Britain.

GRAMMAR SCHOOL= In the USA, which is the case here, it means "elementary school" or "primary school", but this term is disappearing. He uses it in this song because it fits into the topic of the lyrics, since he’s talking about the times when he studied grammar at school.
The name "grammar school" comes from medieval times, because schools first appear to teach Latin (which was basically the study of Latin grammar). In the UK, at present, there are "grammar schools" and "comprehensive schools" (two different kinds of "secondary schools"). To cut a long story short, let’s say that grammar schools offer a better education because they only accept about the 20% best students. Some people critic them because they are elitists, some defend them because they can offer a great quality education to good students regardless their income (it doesn’t matter if they are rich or poor). But in many parts of England they have been suppressed by local authorities or forced to go private and charge their students. It’s the usual argument: should we provide excellence for those who can be excellent or should we level everybody down to have no differences?

AIN’T= (also spelled AIN’ in this song because the final T is rarely pronounced, but when we write it we put the T). Colloquial negative form for the present of the verb "to be" and "to have":
"I ain’t got no money"= I haven’t got any money
"He ain’t no doctor"= he isn’t a doctor

I AIN’T GOT NO REASON= "I haven’t got a reason". NO is a negative indefinite article; we can say ANY with a negative word or NO with an affirmative verb (so we avoid the double negative). Both ANY and NO are used with uncountable words and with plural countable words, but never with singular countables:
- She doesn’t have a book
- She doesn’t have any books = She has no books
- I don’t drink any alcohol = I drink no alcohol
But in this sentence we use NO with a singular noun, which is not correct, but it’s often heard, esp. in AmE (esp. among black people)
- yo man!, I ain’t no doctor = listen, I’m not a doctor

I AIN’T GOT NO MOTIVE= the same meaning and the same bad grammar as the previous sentence. This inadequate use of NO is present all over the song.

ARTICULATE= pronounce

ENUNCIATE= pronounce clearly (a formal word)

ELOQUENCE= the ability to speak and write well, and convincingly

IT’S ALRIGHT YOU GOT NO ELOQUENCE= it doesn’t matter if you can’t speak properly


IT DON’T HAVE TO MAKE SENSE= The use of DON’T instead of DOESN’T for the third person singular (he, she, it) is not uncommon in colloquial speech and songs.

MAKE SENSE= if something makes sense, you can understand it

JUS’= JUST. When we pronounce this word we very often drop the final -T, but we always spell it complete. In this song they spell it JUS’ to emphasize the fact that some final consonants disappear in careless pronunciation.

THERE AIN’ NO NEED= there’s no need, it’s not necessary

TREND= fashion, tendency

GO AND TELL= With the verb GO, especially in the imperative, we often say "go and +verb" instead of "go to +verb", which is the normal construction for the rest:
- Go to see who’s calling = Go and see who’s calling

ALL THE LATEST SONGS LIKE TO SAY IT WRONG= in this sentence LIKE is the verb, not the preposition

WE BE SINGIN’= we are singing. Using the form BE for all the persons (I be, you be, he be...) happens in some old dialects from England, and in America, this happens in colloquial black English. Changing the endings –ING into –IN’ reflects a difference in pronunciation, because NG is a kind of /n/ pronounced in the back of our throat and N’ is a kind of "n" pronounced with the tip of the tongue. In colloquial English this change is common, especially in AmE.

WIT’= in colloquial AmE some people use "wit" instead of "with".

PULLING TRICKS= to pull a trick is to change things in a clever way to impress, amuse or deceive people.

SYNTAX= the grammatical rules in a language

I AIN’ GOT NO IDEA= I have no idea, I don’t know at all

WORSER= a colloquial form of WORSE. The word WORSE is the irregular comparative form of BAD, so WORSER is a double comparative, because it is adding the regular ending –ER for comparatives to a word which is already a comparative.

I DON’T EVEN USE NO DOUBLE NEGATIVES= In this sentence (as in others in the song) there is a double negative: "I DON’T use NO...". This is not standard English, but you can hear in colloquial English sometimes (esp. in AmE) and in some BrE dialects.

C’MON= come on. This pronunciation is very common when talking.

SCURRED= a very colloquial way of saying SCARED (=afraid) in AmE.

CRAZE= a very popular fashion that get people crazy about something but then quickly disappears (usually)

MISPRONOUNCE= pronounce in a wrong way

LIKE INSTEAD OF...= in this sentence LIKE means "for example" (coll.)

THAT RIGHT THERE= That thing which is exactly there

THURR= again, a very colloquial way of saying THERE

BARELY= almost not. I barely passed= I almost didn’t pass (I almost failed). In America, school marks are letters, so if you have everything perfect you get an A, then B, C, D, and an F is a Fail (you don’t pass the exam). That’s why on the video he’s showing a school composition with a big F writing on it.

GOT NO PROPER= The subject (I) is missing, another thing quite common in very colloquial speech.

GRILLZ= a slang word to refer to gold, silver, diamond, platinum caps fitted over teeth. Usually worn by some black rappers (you can see it on the video with the words: JAW RULES, which means "Jaw is the best"). They look horrible, but with that, they can show how rich they are. So the line "got no proper verbal skills but I be wearin’ grillz" means "I can’t speak correctly, but I’m rich", because all the song is a parody about many modern singers (especially black rappers) who get famous but can’t (or don’t want to) speak properly.

DA (black AmE)= the
MA (black AmE)= my

I AIN’T GOTTA TALK DA TALK TO MAKE MA RECORD POP= if I want my music record to be famous, I can’t speak well.

IMPAIRED= damaged, not working properly, malfunctioning, in a bad condition

YO!= this is commonly used in colloquial English when you want to call somebody’s attention (a colloquial or even rude version of "excuse me!). It is also used as an exclamation. Sounds very modern, very cool, so it’s used esp. by young people (such as Bart Simpson)

MY GRAMMAR AIN’ NO PRODIGY= my grammar is not wonderful. In fact it means: my grammar is horrible.

MA STRONGEST SUIT ISN’T MORPHOLOGY= I’m not very good at morphology (the study of the structure and content of word forms)

IT’S HARD= it’s difficult. Pay attention to this grammatical construction: "It’s hard for people to understand me"

NEVER CHANGED MY...= again, the subject (I) is missing. The subject may be missing in colloquial English only when the context makes clear to know what is missing.

MY VERBAL HABITS= the way I speak

SINCE I WAS THREE= since I was three years old

YOU’RE ON PAR= To be on par (or better still, "on a par") is to be at the same level (good or bad)

CUZ= one way of spelling the contraction of BECAUSE, though the most usual spelling is ‘CAUSE, and sometimes you can also see COZ (esp. BrE). It is very commonly used when talking, both in AmE and BrE.

DETENTION= in a school, if you stay for detention, you have to stay at school after classes finished and all the students went away, or you have to stay in a teacher’s office during the break, when all the students are in the playground. It is a form of discipline when you behave badly.

© Angel Castaño 2008 Salamanca / Poole - free videos to learn real English online || InfoPrivacyTerms of useContactAbout
This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read more