Using Contractions: “Gonna” vs “Going to”

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A few weeks ago, we reposted a video about setting goals and staying motivated on our social media pages.

It was a video Madam Azimah and I recorded back in January this year. I thought it was a great video to revisit because we’re now coming to the end of the year (where did the time go?) and the final quarter is usually when I start to feel a little “lost”. 

If you haven’t watched that video yet, you can do so here and let us know what you think.

A lot of people shared their comments on the video, and we couldn’t help noticing comments from a few people who were not happy with us using “gonna” to mean “going to”.

The comment had nothing to do with what we were teaching in the video, but it got us thinking about using contractions like “gonna” and “wanna”.

Is it incorrect grammar? Is it not proper English? Is it slang?

So we did some research, and within the same week (actually, it was just two days later), I decided to do a live session to share our findings.

Firstly, “gonna” is actually an informal contraction of “going to”. A contraction is when you combine two or more words to make them shorter and flow together when speaking. These informal contractions are only used in spoken English and not in formal writing.

Using contractions like “gonna” to say “going to” is an accepted part of spoken English. In fact, it can boost your score for pronunciation in an IELTS speaking test!

However, there are some grammar rules for using “gonna” vs “going to” when you speak. You have to know whether it functions as a primary or auxiliary verb in a particular sentence.

Watch the replay of the live session here to learn about these rules so you can use “gonna” correctly and confidently.

You can also listen to this session on SpotifyApple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.

Do you want to speak English with confidence?

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Hi there!

We’re Azimah, Amnah and Aisya from Malaysia. We created My English Matters as an online platform to help people improve their English.

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