Reduced verb forms
Do you watch Hollywood films or American television channels? If so, chances are you have heard expressions like ‘wanna’ and ‘gonna’ umpteen times. These are contracted verb forms that frequently appear in the speech of native English speakers. Although these forms are considered acceptable in informal speech, you must not use them in any form of formal communication.
The reduced forms wanna, gonna etc., figure in the speech of American English speakers. Speakers of British English are unlikely to use these expressions mainly because British English pronunciation is different from American English pronunciation in many ways.
Although students should familiarize themselves with these conversational structures, it is up to them to decide whether they want to use these expressions themselves. Of course, you may use them during a chat session with your friends, but you must avoid them in any other form of written communication.
Reductions in Questions
Wanna is the reduced form of want to.
- Wanna have a drink? (= Want to have a drink?)
Gonna is the short form of going to.
- I’m gonna kill him. (= I am going to kill him.)
- I’m gonna ask her out until she says yes. (= I am going to ask her out until she says yes.)
Gotta is the reduced form of got to. The structure got to has the same form as the structure have to.
- I gotta get up early. (= I got to get up early.) (= I have to get up early.)
- He gotta follow the rules. (= He got to follow the rules.) (= He has to follow the rules.)
Although ‘wanna’ and ‘gonna’ are the most popular of these expressions, there are plenty of others too. These reduced verb forms or reductions mainly appear at the beginning of questions. If you use reductions in your speech, be sure to stress the main verb.
- Wanna go to the theatre? (= Want to go to the theatre?)
- Arya working? (= Are you working?)
- Kinya help me? (= Can you help me?)