For anyone who wants to learn a new English idiom, the phrase 'The penny has dropped' means that a person has suddenly understood something. And I think I've just understood something that has been puzzling me for months.
Ever since I first joined this site, I've been wondering why so many members ask about the following so-called 'words' : 'wanna' 'gonna' 'gotta'. Let's get one thing straight - these are not words. They are not even informal words or standard contractions (like can't and isn't) . They are transcribed sounds, an imitation of what we hear when someone says 'want to' 'going to' and 'got to' in fast natural speech. As every teacher on this site will have said at some time, you should never write them. Anyone who writes them makes themselves look lazy and rude, like a selfish child. Nobody will take you seriously if you write like this, and it worries me that millions of learners around the world seem to think that these 'words' are real English.
What I couldn't understand, however, was where people had learnt this 'language'. I read books, newspapers, magazines and online material in English, and nowhere do I see these things written down. They're not in students' coursebooks either. So the mystery was - what are learners of English reading that I am not? Then, just this evening, a post from a student answered my question - he said that he'd seen these 'words' on films. Of course! Subtitles! Learners watch American films and music videos and so on with captions, and that's where they've seen these things written down. That's what everyone else had been reading but I had not. Am I correct?
As anyone learning English as a second language can tell you, these words are not "so-called" -- they are how native speakers really pronounce the words most of the time, except when they modify their speech in an effort to "help" learners. The reduced pronunciation of auxiliary verbs is the natural and inevitable result of deep-seated English phonological processes that native speakers use unconsciously. The fact is that the native speaker learns the "reduced form" first, and only later learns that "wanna" is in theory "want to." The second language learner who wants to master English absolutely must internalize the natural pronunciation of these words, if his goal is to understand real English.
Of course, in the written language, the full form has to be used, unless you're talking to your friends via SMS or the like. In my experience, if the ESL learner practices using "gonna," "wanna," "shoulda," etc, it makes it far easier for him to understand real English (as opposed to "English teacher English"), and the learner (who has spent plenty of time learning the grammar) is well aware of what the full forms are -- usually more so than the native speaker.
This is not theoretical. That's why when I teach this to my students, their listening comprehension goes up by around 20 to 40 % in a couple of hours.
To the OP:
1)For anyone who wants to learn a new English idiom, the phrase 'The penny has dropped'
As others have noted, don't use this in the US.
2) Let's get one thing straight - these are not words
<em></em>Yes they are.
3) As every teacher on this site will have said at some time, you should never write them
It's perfectly acceptable to write them in the right context.
4) Anyone who writes them makes themselves look lazy and rude, like a selfish child. Nobody will take you seriously if you write like this, and it worries me that millions of learners around the world seem to think that these 'words' are real English
<em></em>This is ridiculous.
I used to text Americans a lot when I lived in the U.S. and I remeber friends telling me that the way in which I would write was let's say too correct. They wouldn't write want to or going to and if we want to be honest, no one would spell wanna like in want to.
Let me check quickly - Lemme check quick
Do you want to go? - U wana go?
And these were college students. The list can go on and on; I am not saying that everyone would write like that, but I would encounter many. Foreigners think it is cool to write or speak this way, others don't really care about writing or speaking properly. I just want to point out that if they write this way, it is because there are native who do it.
There is even a new discussion started by a teacher using Wanna! What can we do!
Hello Su.Ki. You're right. English learners run into these so-called words in songs and movies. I have noticed that most English learners use these "words" because they think that native English speakers will think that they are cool. I also study English by listening to songs and watching movies, but I always look into the words and idioms I find. I think many students only pick up such "words" and think that these are part of daily speech. I remember one time when a student from the Dominican Republic arrived at the classroom and said "Hi n*gg**s". We were shocked and he was like "what, everybody says that in the US, have you never listened to American songs?, have you never watched American movies"?