Gonna's Cousin In American English

A number of people have asked me on italki whether gonna is a word too. Yes, in fact, it is slang that you will here in America in songs, TV shows, and used by actual Americans in a casual setting. But once again, you should not be using this word at an interview, in an essay for a class, or anything formal. Sorry, I don't know if you would hear these in the UK or other British English parts of the world too. My guess is that you wouldn't.


Did you know that in American English, "gonna" has a cousin though? Gonna's cousin word is "gotta". It means "to have to do something", "to got to do something", "to have", "to got", "got a", etc. Again, this is slang and should only be used in casual / informal settings. For instance, when speaking to a very close friend, etc. Here are some examples.


1. There gotta be deer in that field too. (very informal)

= There got to be deer in that field too. (informal)


= There have gotta be deer in that field there too. (very informal)

= There have got to be deer in that field there too. (informal)


= There have to be deer in that field there too. (formal)


You can hear Americans say any of these. Again, use the one listed as formal for interviews, or in an essay since it has the correct grammar and is not slang. You don't want to sound uneducated or like a farmer when you go to an interview, do you? Hehehe


Note that sometimes "gotta" appears with "have". Not including "have" makes it even less  formal in my opinion. So you can think of "gotta" being short for both "got to", "have got to", etc.


2. I gotta Playstation too. (very informal)

= I got a Playstation too. (informal)

= I've gotta Playstation too. (informal)

= I have a Playstation too. (formal)


Note that in this example, "gotta" is even short for "got a". It is also short for "got an", so you could say "I gotta XBOX too." :)


3. I gotta pick up the cake from the bakery today. (very informal)

= I got to pick up the cake from the bakery  today. (informal)

= I have got pick up the cake from the bakery today. (informal)

= I have to pick up the cake from the bakery today. (formal)

May 4, 2014 3:53 PM
Comments · 5

Personally, I hate all these, although I'll admit I catch myself saying them from time to time.  These "slurred" words are simply the result of not taking the time to enunciate words fully.

May 5, 2014

Don't forget their other cousin, "wanna".

May 5, 2014

Hahahaha! Good one, Devon. I almost forgot about "wanna". :)

May 5, 2014

Yes, "ja" is "gonna" in informal English. :)

May 5, 2014

gonna = จะ

May 4, 2014
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