Catch Word #173 – Gonna, lotta, kinda

Have you ever wondered what on earth the Culips hosts mean when they say gonna, lotta, or kinda? Join Andrew and Morag as they explain these common contractions.


Fun fact

Contractions are a shortened form of a word or a group of words. They have been around for a very long time, dating back to Old English (450–1150 AD) and Middle English (1150–1470 AD).
Interestingly, some words, like sit, started off as a contraction in Middle English, and gradually, became accepted as a full term.

Expressions included in the learning materials

  • Gonna/going to
  • A lotta/a lot of
  • A kinda/a kind of
  • A garage sale
  • To get into something

Sample Transcript

 Morag:  Today, we have a Catchword episode for you guys on some informal contractions that we English speakers use in everyday speech all the time. And these contractions are gonna, lotta, and kinda.
Andrew: Yes. Gonna, lotta, and kinda. And we’re actually doing this episode because one of our listeners from Russia wrote us, and he said, “You know, I listen to Culips, and often, I hear these contractions, but I just can’t understand them perfectly. Can you explain some of them to us?” So this is what we’re doing today, and our three contractions are gonna, lotta, and kinda. But maybe before we define these and provide some examples, I’m going to ask you, Morag, what is a contraction?
Morag: Well, Andrew, a contraction is when we use a word or a combination of words and make them shorter. For example, we’ve got the contraction I’m, which is, more properly, I am.
Andrew: So, just like you said, this contraction is when we take words, or a combination of words, and we squish them together to make them shorter. And we usually only use contractions in casual, informal conversation. It’s a big no–no to use contractions in formal writing especially.

Oh, yeah. Never ever use it in formal writing.

Andrew: Yeah. Any sort of professional context, avoid contractions, especially in writing. Speaking, sometimes it’s OK, but writing, definitely avoid the contractions. Let’s get to our first expression: gonna.
Morag: Gonna is the contraction of going to. We use gonna to talk about future plans, something you are going to do, or to make a prediction based on the evidence we can see right about now.
Andrew: Yeah, exactly. It’s a very, very common contraction. And, as you can hear, the sound does change, right? Going to becomes gonna in fast, fluent speech. And so, just like you said, Morag, we use it in two specific situations. The first is when we’re talking about our plans in the future, or we are making a prediction based on evidence at hand, based on something we can see or experience. So I think it’s time for some examples. Let’s get to them.


english PodcastAudio/Learning Materials: Culips English Learning Podcast