Maroon 5 – Don’t Wanna Know: Contractions

Do you know what the words wanna, takin', lovin', and ya mean? They are all contractions that native speakers use quite often. In the song "Don't Wanna Know" by Maroon 5, they use all of them.

Here are the lines where he uses these words:
I don't wanna know.
Who's takin' you home.
And lovin' you so.
The way I used to love ya.

Now do you know what wanna, takin', lovin', and ya mean? Before we get to the explanation, watch the music video (it's hilarious!) and listen. Pay special attention to the lines he keeps repeating.

What do these words mean?

Wanna = want to
When writing something formal (like for school or work), it's best to write the normal form = want to. But if you are writing a text message to a friend, it's ok to write wanna instead. And if you are speaking, it's more natural to say wanna.
Some similar contractions are:
gonna = going to
I'm gonna meet Olivia at the bar later.
gotta = got to.
I gotta go to sleep early tonight since I have an early flight tomorrow

takin' = taking
lovin' = loving
Both of these involve taking the 'g' off of the '-ing' ending. You can do this when speaking for any gerund, but again, only use it in informal writing.
Why do people do this? It's easier to pronounce it without the "-g." It's that simple.

ya = you
Ya is just an informal way of saying you. It also sounds less direct.
For example: If I said "What are you doing?" it sounds quite direct and a bit harsh. But if I said "What are ya doing?" it sounds a bit less direct.

When you first start listening to native speakers, contractions and shortenings can be a bit confusing. But the more you practice, the easier it gets. And soon you might be using them too! But don't worry, you never have to use these informal versions.

Time to Practice!

Now it's time to practice your understanding by answering these questions:

What game is the music video referencin'?

What do ya think about the video?

What are ya gonna do this weekend?

What do ya gotta do tomorrow?

​Do you have any other questions about the song or video? Any ideas for songs I should teach in the future? Let me know!

MORE SONGS

All the Songs!

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