Pronunciation in fast, informal English speech | DailyStep English

Pronunciation in fast, informal English speech

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This is Jane Lawson's Audio Blog #111 at DailyStep English

Jane Lawson English teacher Hello, I'm Jane at DailyStep English and welcome to my Audio Blog!

English pronunciation changes when we speak in fast, informal English. There are 2 very common examples, WANNA and GONNA, in the audio word study below. There are also some free audio descriptions of all the topics in next week's DailyStep audio lessons. If you are new to DailyStep English, please register for a free trial of 5 UK/USA audio lessons and to be on my mailing list.

This is Audio Word Study 019 from Jane Lawson at


The Estuary English accent is a mixture of Received Pronunciation, or RP, and the cockney accent, which originated in East London. Here are some common expressions in informal versions of Estuary English. These expressions are also common in other accents of English, including American accents,  Scottish accents, Irish accents and more!


Wanna (informal)
Note: This is for spoken English onlynot for written English.
Meaning 1: We sometimes say ‘wanna’ instead of ‘want to’ in fast or informal English. 
Examples: 1. D’you wanna play football later? (note: this means ‘Do you want to play football later?)
2. Do you wanna go to the beach? (note: this means ‘Do you want to go to the beach?)
3. Do you wanna see a film tomorrow?  (note: this means ‘Do you want to see a film tomorrow?)

Meaning 2: We sometimes say ‘wanna’ instead of ‘want a’ in informal speech.
Examples: I wanna coffee. Shall we go to a café? (note: this means ‘I want a coffee’. In this sentence, ‘a coffee’ means ‘ a cup of coffee’.)

In very informal English, the sentences can be even shorter! In the next examples, only ‘Wanna…?’ is used, instead of ‘Do you wanna…?’ This is incorrect, slang English, but you will hear native speakers all over the world speak like this!


Examples: 1. Wanna see a film later?  (note: this means ‘Do you want to see a film later?’)

2. Wanna coffee?  (note: this means ‘Do you want a coffee?’)


In the examples above, the questions words ‘Do you…?’ are often pronounced /ʤ/This is the same sound that we find at the beginning and end of the word ‘judge’, and also, at the start of my name, Jane.


Listen to these examples:

Do you wanna have some dinner? (note: this means ‘do you want to have some dinner’)

Do you wanna read this book?   (note: this means ‘do you want to read this book?’)

Do you wanna game of tennis?  (note: this means ‘do you want a game of tennis?’)



Another common expression that is widely used by speakers with Cockney accents, Estuary English accents and many more accents of English is…


Gonna (informal)
Note: This is for spoken English only, not for written English.
Meaning: We often use ‘gonna’ instead of ‘going to’ in informal speech. 
Examples: 1. What are you gonna do about it? (note: this means ‘What are you going to do about it?)
2. Is he gonna call you? (note: this means Is he going to call you?)

3. I’ve decided I’m gonna improve my English this year! (note: this means ‘I’ve decided I’m going to improve my English this year!’)


In very informal English, we sometimes begin sentences with gonna! In the next examples, only ‘Gonna…?’ is used, instead of ‘Are you going to…?’ This is incorrect, slang English, but it is used all over the world.


Examples: 1. Gonna call him or not? (note: this means ‘Are you going to call him or not?’)

2. Gonna try this ? (note: this means ‘Are you going to try this?’)


Remember, these words are very informal. But you will hear them a lot, and they are very important for understanding native English speakers!

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