Reduced forms are words that are not written in English but that are frequently used by native speakers. It’s important to be able to recognize them so you can understand spoken English and sound more natural when you speak. Here are some of the most useful reduced forms to know.
- Gonna, gotta, wanna, oughta = going to, got to, want to, ought to (“I’m gonna go to the store.”)
- ’Cuz = because (“I’m going to stay in tonight ’cuz I’m tired.”)
- Dunno = don’t know (“I dunno what I want to do.”)
- Couldya, wouldya = could you, would you (“Couldya quiet down?”)
- Gimme, lemme = give me, let me (“Couldya gimme a piece of that cake, please?”)
- Shoulda/woulda/coulda = should have, would have, could have (“We shoulda picked up a birthday card.”)
- Kinda/sorta = kind of, sort of (“I kinda like this song, but the chorus is annoying.”)
- Lotta/lottsa = lot of, lots of (“There sure are a lotta tourists and lottsa souvenir shops around here.”)
- Mighta/might’ve = might have, followed by a consonant (“She mighta gone yesterday”), might have, followed by a vowel (“He might’ve agreed to go if you hadn’t told him how much tickets cost.”)
- How are ya? = How are you? (“I haven’t seen you in weeks! How are ya?”)
- Whaddya = what do you (“Whaddya want to do with your day off?”)
- Whatcha = what are you (“Whatcha planning to do?”)
- C’mon = come on (“C’mon, let’s go!”)
- Jus’ = just (“That’s jus’ perfect.”)
- See ya = see you (“See ya later!”)
Keep in mind that you should not use these reduced forms in formal or business settings, but you can try them out when you’re talking to friends.
If you’d like to learn additional reduced forms so that you can make your English sound more natural, hiring an English tutor is a great place to start.