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English Grammar Reference: Gonna, gotta and wanna

In American movies and music it is very common to hear the words gonna, gotta and wanna. They are short forms of talking about the future (gonna), obligation (gotta) and desires (wanna).


Gonna is the abbreviated form of going to and so is used to talk about the future.

Sentence/ question with gonna Grammatically correct sentence/ question
I'm gonna eat.
What you gonna do?
Where you gonna go?
I'm going to eat.
What are you going to do?
Where are you going to go?

See also:

English Grammar Reference: The Future with going to

English Grammar Exercises: The Beatles, With a little help from my friends


Gotta is the abbreviated form of have got to in the sense of having an obligation.

Sentence with gotta Grammatically correct sentence
I gotta go.
You gotta help me.
They gotta stop.
I've got to go. / I have to go.
You've got to help me. / You have to help me.
They've got to stop. / They have to stop.

See also:

English Grammar Reference: Must, have to, have got to


Wanna is the abbreviated form of want to.

Sentence/ question with wanna Grammatically correct sentence
You wanna go?
What you wanna do?
I don't wanna stay here.
Do you want to go?
What do you want to do?
I don't want to stay here.

See also:

English Grammar Exercises: Tracy Chapman, All that you have is your soul