How to say it in English

Hello everyone,

Is this usage of right correct in the below phrases?

1- Their right is not claimable. [ meaning, they can’t get their right ]

2- I want to get my right, so I will fight for it till I die.

3- she can’t achieve / reach / get her right, because she has no support.

4- in fact my question is which of the following words collocate with “Right”?

To get / reach / achieve / obtain / one’s right.

If none, then how is it spoken and written?
My second question:

Why the verb in this movie title has not been used in third person?

" Love don’t cost a thing "

Love, is a singular and uncountable noun, then why 'don’t" ?

I’d say that technically, the use of “right” is correct, but it looks a little strange. I think it’s because most of the time I see people talking about a specific right, they give more detail as to what right they’re talking about: “his right to bear arms;” “her right to an attorney.” When they don’t talk about the specific right, it’s usually plural: “He’s going to fight for his rights”; “the police officer read him his rights”.

The use of “don’t” instead of “doesn’t” is more of a colloquialism, a little more proper than “ain’t”.

On the second question, I think that in part it’s derived from the 1931 song It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing). In that, both “don’t” and “ain’t” are non-standard usages: you can do it in a song title, but not in formal writing.

  1. Their right is not attainable. (if one right is being discussed, that right is usually named. If rights in general are being discussed, use plural “rights”).

  2. I will fight to the death attain my right(s).

  3. She can’t attain her rights because she has no support.

  4. “Obtain” and “acquire” are also correct. I am not sure “get” is wrong, but it might not sound lofty enough to use with a concept as highly regarded as “rights”.

You are correct. “Don’t” as above may be a slang expression, or common usage by an uneducated person.

These still seem wrong. I am assuming that by “rights”, the OP is talking about basic human legal rights such as the right to vote or the right to religious freedom, etc. A right is something you should have unless it is (wrongly or illegally) taken away or denied. So I would phrase them like this.

  1. They have been denied their right(s). Could also be used specifically, for example, They have been denied their right to a fair trial in court. Also; Their rights have been taken away. Also can be lost, as in A prisoner lost their rights to freedom when they were sent to jail.
  2. I will fight to the death for my right(s). Very common phrase in English.
  3. She has been denied her rights because she has no support. Or She has lost her rights because she has no support.

Native English speaker from the US here. Your example sentences in question 1 are all grammatical (try substituting another noun for “right” and see if they still make sense), but they sound awkward. As mentioned above, one would normally mention what specific right is being discussed or would use it in the plural. For example, you could say “His right to a fair trial is no longer claimable because he waited more than six months to protest the irregularities that happened at his first trial.”

They could all be acceptable, but they can have different connotations. For example, “achieve” and “reach” implies that the subject of the sentence did something substantial to get their rights rather than just having the rights fall into their lap such as working hard, staging protests, going on strike, or spending a substantial amount of money. One could “get” or “obtain” a right without expending much effort or even any at all.

It’s a colloquialism and set phrase. These don’t have to obey the regular rules of grammar - they exist as a single entity.

Earned? If someone does not have a right and then they do something substantial to get it, I usually hear people say they “earned” those rights.

Also, we often use the verb secure, as in: . . . to secure one’s right(s).

The connotation here, I think, is the idea of getting your rights to be well-established enough, so that you don’t just lose them again after the next president/premier/king/dictator comes to power.

Very awkward as others have pointed out.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard of someone mentioning their right - if singular - without being more specific. If left on its own - it’s going to seem awkward no matter what you write.

You don’t fight to obtain a right you already have (which is what it sounds above in some cases).

A right is something you are entitled to - you can fight to keep those rights (or that right). You don’t really fight for “your right” to get it (you don’t have it at that point). You fight to get your right.

None of which would be used in that language exactly - cause you would usually indicate what right it was.

Robert’s right: they’re technically correct, but awkward.

You might say, for example, “They’ve been denied their rights,” or “I want to vindicate my rights,” or “She can’t exercise her rights.” You usually wouldn’t talk about “getting” rights or “achieving” them, though, because if something is a right that implies it’s yours by birth - not something you achieve or get.

“Love don’t cost a thing” is colloquial, or non-standard. It’s probably meant to signal that it’s a gritty drama, it’s about poor or hard-living people, or both.

That would be the case where what’s called derechos adquiridos in Spanish gets put in writing: a derecho adquirido is one that isn’t formally extant, but which has become culturally expected. I’m not translating the term because the connotations of the word-by-word translation would not have the correct connotations and I don’t know an expression which would have them.

Let’s say that a company lets people work flex-40: people can work 9-5 M-F, or 10-4 M-F, or 4x10, or completely irregular hours so long as they meet their objectives, put in 40 h/wk and their coworkers know in advance when will they be in. If it isn’t in writing, that flexibility is a lot easier to take away than if it’s actually in the contracts; so, putting it in writing secures it.

First note: if you’re speaking about a very specific ‘right’, then you use the singular. “The right to free speech.” But if you’re talking about ‘rights’ in general, then you use the plural. “Our rights are listed in the Constitution.”

They cannot press their right.
Their claim to their rights is not secured/assured/guaranteed.
Their rights are not secured/assured/guaranteed.

I will fight to the death for my rights!
I will fight for my rights until/'til the day I die!
For my rights, I’m willing lay down my life!
I will sacrifice my very life to secure my rights!

Assuming she doesn’t have the help she needs:
She doesn’t have any support to secure her rights.

Assuming her claim to have a right is without support (that is, she has no good reason to have that right):
There is no basis to support her claim to that right.

The issue with the sentences, as mentioned above is that they are awkward.

Rights are inherent or exercised or owned or several other things, but “I get that right” does not sound right; rights are not “gotten”.

You could say “I get the right to bare arms from the constitution” (Hence the sleeveless shirt) but in this case, “get” is more of a passive verb than an active one, implying something else has given you the ownership of that right.

Similarly, rights can be earned - “I have earned the right to call myself ‘champion’!” - this sounds more “right” (correct).

achieve, maybe - obtains sound best. As I said, “get” sounds more correct in the passive voice.

As mentioned above, this is slang. Poor grammar, especially the wrong person for a verb like do for does, (or wrong verb form) is a classic means of distinguishing lower class or ethnic speech; and the “dialect” is sometimes worn as a badge of pride in roots, much like the use of “ain’t”. “This baby be hot” immediately sets a mood as to the type of speaker. However, “It don’t mean a thing, if it ain’t got that swing” exploits this because with the colloquial wording the beat fits, while “Doesn’t” adds an extra syllable and don’t fit the beat.

If you are just getting a right, it’s usually said you obtained a right or secured a right.

When you actually use a right, it’s usually said you are exercising your right.

The word I often hear in this regard is “entitled.” It conveys the idea of a right being god-given or otherwise automatically granted to a person by the fact of their existence.

  1. They are not entitled to that right.

Thanks everybody for the comprehensive answers.

what I found that suits best for my translation is " To fight one’s right", the sentence I want to translate in English literally means " We can’t get our rights", but this is not the way it is spoken and written in English, so the best one I can conclude is " we can’t fight our rights"
I examined other choices such as attain or obtain, but they don’t fit into the sentence as the text would sound so formal. [ as a matter of fact its a phrase from a poem, if it was a sentence in a contract/ formal article or any suchlike then those choice could be used I suppose].
Anyway this one is closed, because I got what I wanted.

About “Love don’t cost a thing”, you all said that it’s simply a slang or non-standard and incorrect grammatically phrase - which already it was all a cut-and-clear case - but I really wonder how an incorrect phrase can be chosen as a title for a movie which goes under print on cinema posters, even is published everywhere on internet on boards, … and everywhere as simple as this?, and how many other examples can be found in US like this? and to what extent such incorrect phrases - not on a cheap advertising flyer but on movies and stories - can be seen?

This sounds so odd to my eyes and ears! and I just can’t help it!

“Love Don’t Cost a Thing” was originally a song performed by Jennifer Lopez. It’s not the first time that colloquial language has been used in a popular song title, e.g, “Can’t Buy Me Love” should be “I can’t buy myself love” – but it wouldn’t fit the music, or sound so dramatic.

“We can’t fight our rights” sounds very strange to me. Do you mean to say “We can’t fight for our rights?” Another possibility might be “We can’t win our rights.”

Yep, fight for. I forgot the preposition.

I like " we can’t win our rights" better.

Thanks a bunch.

You gotta fight for your right to grammar!