Are you confused about how and when to use the words GONNA, WANNA, and GOTTA in English? Have you heard different things from different people about the appropriateness of these words?
While a lot of conventional teachers and programs teach that it’s wrong or inappropriate to use these colloquial contractions when speaking English in formal situations, “gonna,” “wanna,” and “gotta” are perfectly okay to use in all spoken situations, both formal and informal. This is simply how native speakers communicate.
Watch this video below to learn how native speakers connect their words with “gonna,” “wanna,” and “gotta.” For a more detailed, read the article How English is Really Spoken: Gonna, Gotta, and Wanna to learn even more!
Read the Transcript
Aww yeah! Welcome to another episode of RealLife TV. I’m Justin and today I’m going to teach you how native speakers use “gonna,” “wanna,” and “gotta.” So, stay tuned!
Is this RealLife?
Ok, to start with, we have “going to” in the simple future. So, going to, the simple construction is “going to + verb.” So, “I’m going to go to the movies,” “I’m going to play soccer.” This becomes gonna. “I’m gonna play soccer,” “I’m gonna go to the movies.
This is very common, especially in American English, but in other forms of English as well.
Common mistakes with Gonna
So, a couple of mistakes people make with this. The first one is they don’t use the to be, so they say “I gonna.” But it should be “I’m gonna.”
Second mistake is they often say “I’m gonna to,” but it should be “I’m going to” or “I’m gonna.” “I’m gonna play soccer.”
And the third mistake is they often confuse the present continuous with gonna. But the present continuous, even when used in the future, we do not use gonna. So, it’s only with the “I’m going to” + verb, in the future. “I’m gonna play soccer,” “I’m gonna study English.”
So, now, “wanna.” Wanna is want to plus a verb. It can also be a noun as well, but that’s a little bit different. So, for example, “I wanna play soccer.” “I wanna have fun.” “I wanna eat dinner.”
Wanna with a noun
And then, with a noun, this is actually “I want a.” “I want a new car.” “I want a book about this subject.”
A common tendency with this is sometimes we take off the subject in the beginning.
So, instead of saying “Do you wanna hangout?” I might say “Wanna hangout?” or “You wanna hangout?”
And the final one is “gotta.” Gotta comes from “I’ve got to.” “I’ve got to leave now,” which is like “I have to leave now.” But we take off the “I’ve” and make it “I,” as kind of a colloquial contraction. So, “I gotta go now” is a common way. “I gotta read that book.”
More correct would be “I’ve got to” and the correct pronunciation would be “I’ve gotta” with this. “I’ve gotta read that book.”
Gotta with a noun
And then a lot of times people use this with a noun. So, “I got a new car,” for example, or another example of this would be “I got a meeting later on today.” “I got a meeting later on today.”
So, those are the examples of gonna (“I’m gonna play soccer”), wanna (“I wanna study for that test”), and gotta (“I gotta go” or “I’ve gotta go”).
Formal and Informal
So, just on the side notes, these are not all informal contractions. This is connected speech, the way natives really speak. The way we shrink our words, the way we connect them, the way we link them.
So, we do this in informal situations and formal situations. So, just to give you an example of this, I’m going to provide you with an interview with Steve Jobs on CNBC, an financial program from a few years ago, and we’re just going to show you some examples of wanna and gonna, just to show you how we use it in formal situations and even a person like Steve Jobs and even the interviewers do. So…
Examples from the CNBC Steve Jobs Interview
“And it will completely change your expectations are GONNA be for what you can carry on your pocket.”
“I think everything is GONNA be just fine.”
“Yeah, I don’t think the stock actions scandal is GONNA impact this at the end of the day earnings are GONNA be there.”
“And if he again puts out the better mousetrap, people are GONNA follow him.”
So, there are some nice examples for you with some real people using it on TV in American culture.
So, that does it for today’s lesson. Remember that these are important. Connected speech with “gonna,” “gotta,” “wanna.” Make sure you know how to understand them and then play around with it, see if you can use it. And it’s really gonna help your English flow a lot.
But that’s it for today, thank you for watching, I really enjoyed being here today, make sure you subscribe, check out the link to the article below and if you want to get a free ebook from our website, “A 101 Words You Won’t Learn at School” click on the link at the end.
Thank you very much, take care.
For a more detailed and in-depth explanation, we recommend that you read the article How English is Really Spoken: Colloquial Contractions Gonna, Gotta, and Wanna to learn even more!