Wanna, Gotta, Gonna, Gotcha, and Kinda


Some of you may watch or see some American or English movies and/ or songs. And perhaps you have more favorite Hollywood movies or English songs than Indonesian ones / i do, and I don’t give it a damn being called un-patriotic.Whichever you watch or listen to, chances are you encounter the words I mentioned in the title.

You might never wonder what they mean and just keep humming the lyrics or listening to the dialogs. But that’s not helping you improve your English, folks. I know it sounds corny but if you wish to master English or -at least- master its basics, you ought to have a dictionary with you. Or if you’re a shy learner type like me, just try to remember  or take a note about what you’ve just heard or read and once you get a chance to look up a dictionary, do that!

Prior to explaining what they mean, I need to emphasize on the appropriate usage of these words. Readers, you are not encouraged to use them in formal context, such as academic papers, final projects, theses, disertations, journal articles (unless it is part of your data/ corpus of study), formal presentations, formal speeches, etc. Rarely will you see a (good, well-behaved) student says one of the words while in classes to his/her teacher. These words are meant only for informal environment. Therefore, it is advisable that we always observe the convention although you might find some people violating them.

This is the brief explanation about ‘wanna’, ‘gotta’, ‘gonna’,  ‘gotcha’ and ‘kinda’ based on MY OWN perception and observation of their usage so in case any of you, readers, finds some fallacies, I do welcome your criticism or correction, no matter how harsh it’ll be.
  • WANNA : This is the shorter and more informal form of ‘want to‘. As far as I’m concerned, it only applies for certain subjects only, i.e. ‘I’, ‘you’, ‘we’, and ‘they’. With the other subjects (‘she’ and ‘he’), ‘want’ is inflected by adding -s, thus becomes ‘wants’. And definitely there is no equal form for ‘wants to’. It’s weird enough to say ‘wansna’, isn’t it? Always remember that ‘wanna’ always takes an infinitive (or Verb 1, you might prefer to call it).
  • GOTTA : It is originally derived from ‘have/has got to‘ (meaning: obligation/ necessity, just like ‘HAVE/HAS TO’ or ‘MUST’). For example, ‘SBY has got to announce his final decision today‘. In informal conversation/ writing, you can say, SBY gotta announce his final decision today‘.
  • GONNA : This word is the contracted version of ‘be going to‘, e.g. ‘Obama is going to gonna come to Indonesia in 2010‘. Notice that we should never drop the verb BE (or TO BE, like your high school teachers always said). In everyday conversation,  the verb BE is often weakly pronounced or stressed, which makes ‘Obama’s gonna come to Indonesia in 2010‘ more likely to find.
  • GOTCHA : ‘Gotcha’ actually consists of modal ‘have got‘ and pronoun ‘you. It is an interjection that  indicates/ shows that someone was tricked or caught out in some way. Sometimes you may find or hear people using ‘-cha’ in tag questions. For instance, ‘You will go around Rome, won’t you wontcha?’        
  • KINDA :  ‘Kinda’ is actually derived from ‘kind‘ and ‘of‘. Preposition ‘of’ is most of the time pronounced weaker than the rest of sentence. You might notice that some words with preposition ‘of’ also have the same ending (‘-a’), such as ‘out of’ which tra
    nsforms into ‘outta’.

 Ok, that’s all, folks! Until next time, XOXO…

About akhlis

Writer & yogi
This entry was posted in grammar, writing. Bookmark the permalink.

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