10 American English Tips On Contractions You “Gotta” Know

Modern American English uses many shortened versions of formal words. You must know these American English expressions where “got to” is really pronounced “gotta” if you want to understand American English conversation. You will also hear these words in movies, TV shows and radio broadcasts.

Casual and informal American English uses shorter forms for many words. These are especially common in TV shows, movies and conversations in books:

going to becomes gonna
got to becomes gotta
want to becomes wanna
let me becomes lemme
give me becomes gimme
ought to becomes outta
kind of becomes kinda
I am becomes Ima
have to becomes hafta
don’t know becomes dunno

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You can see a transcript of this video by clicking on the CC/Subtitles button on the video and see the written transcript in this description.


Hi Guys! Students of modern American English and American slang notice that a native speaker from America use a lots of contractions. I wanted to review them and how they are used. The first is “got to” “I’ve got to go to the store” becomes shortened to “I gotta go” “I gotta have it” “I gotta sing!” meaning you have to do something. Another one is “going to” it becomes “gonna” “I’m gonna go to the store.” “I’m gonna be a star some day.” Another is “give me” become “gimme” “Gimme a beer, Bob!” “Gimme some candy!” something like that. Another is “want to” becomes “wanna” “I wanna go to the movies, Mom! Can you give me twenty (20) dollars or twenty bucks” as we would say in American English. “I wanna go.” “Kind of” becomes “kinda” “I’m kinda tired tonight, so I’m not gonna go out.” “I kinda like that girl. I wonder if she likes me.” Another one is “out of” “Out of” becomes “outta”. “We’re all outta beer.” “We’re all outta chips.” “We’re all outta luck.” “Have to” becomes “hafta”. “I hafta to leave now, I’m late for school.” “I hafta go to the store. We’re all out of beer.” And “don’t know” becomes “dunno” “Are you going to the party?” “I dunno.” “I donno” or “I dunno”. Again, it becomes shortened in modern American English. “Let me” becomes “lemme”. “Are you going to go to the party?” “Lemme think about it. I’ll let you know.” And instead of saying “I am” you can hear “Ima not sure.” “Ima not clear on that.” “It is short for “I am not” or something like that. All these contractions are very common in American English and that’s why it is hard to master. It all sounds like one word depending on how quickly someone speaks. But if you can attune or tune your ear to these type of abbreviations, you’ll make a lot of progress in understanding American English in the movies and TV shows or from your friends.This kind of informal English you probably wouldn’t use in an interview or a formal business meeting, but when speaking with friends and colleagues at work, co-workers it is very common to use these brief abbreviations and contractions. So you can see all of this written below on the transcript. Please subscribe to these videos. I’ve done a whole series of these on American slang and how American English is actually spoken. it’s great for someone who watches movies or TV shows or reads books or is going to travel or study in America. Thank you very much for watching. I’m gonna go now ’cause I hafta go buy some food. Thanks again and please subscribe, Bye bye.

You can go basic or intermediate English to fluent English by studying with a native English speaker. These videos will help you learn how to understand native English speakers, learn American English and learn to speak English fluently. These videos teach you English you need to know that is not always taught in English classes in high school or at university.

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