English Lesson: Going to Vs. Gonna

MichaelADConfusing Words, Grammar, Pronunciation 7 Comments


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I’m sure that you have learned that in everyday casual English we pronounce going to as gonna. What you might not know is that there are times when we can and cannot use such pronunciation. Today I want to talk about this with you.

Be going to is used in a few different ways in English. First, we can use be going to + verb to talk about definite future plans. We can use the pronunciation gonna here:

  • I am going to go to Boston next week – OR  – I am gonna go to Boston next week
  • Jack said he is going to get a dog – OR – Jack said he is gonna get a dog.

Be going to is also used when we talk about our present action or future plan. We use be going to + place. In this case, we cannot say gonna  

  • I’m going to Boston next week – NOT  – I’m gonna Boston next week
  • Jack said he’s going to the pest store – NOT  – Jack said he’s gonna the pet store

Be going is also used when we talk about our present action or future plan. We use be going + Verb-ing. In this case as well, we cannot say gonna  

  • I’m going shopping now – NOT  – I’m gonna shopping now
  • Jack said he’s going skiing this weekend – NOT  – Jack said he’s gonna skiing this weekend.

Keep in mind too that gonna is conversation English, and it should not be used in written English.

Thanks for studying today. What are you going to do this week?

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Comments 7

  1. Why on Christmas and not in Christmas?

    I know the correct one is on Christmas, but sometimes I hear people say in Christmas….

    1. Good Question! We say “on Christmas” when we talk about the day, December 25th. We always use the preposition “on” before a day: on Monday, On june 1st, etc.
      The word Christmas also refers to the Christmas season, which is the few days before and after Christmas. So in that case, you can use “in” as in in Spring.
      We open our presents on Christmas morning. In Christmas, many people decorate their homes.

    1. Appetizer is tAmerican English and means the small dish you have before the main dish. In British English it is called “starter.”
      Entree is the main dish.

      Thanks for asking! 🙂

    1. So, jump and leap are basically the same in meaning and useage. You can jump/leap over something, out of an airplane, etc. Hop is a short, often repeated jump. A kangaroo can hop. humans jump.

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