I'm not a native English speaker but I've recently moved to the US. I've been noticing that when people say "I'm going to" (or I'm gonna), a lot of people here always pronounce it like "I muh-nuh", so apparently this is a normal thing to say where I live, but I had never heard it before.

How common is it? Is that how you're actually supposed to pronounce it, and as a non-native speaker, do you think it's a good idea to learn to use it and talk that way, or I shouldn't imitate this at all?

Thank you in advance.

  • 2
    I doubt that many people say "I muh-nuh", and certainly not intentionally. "I'm gonna", however, may be run together such that the "g" sound may not be sensed by the untrained ear. (I would not recommend trying to use it, and would be a little leery of even recommending using "gonna". It's far better to become proficient in clear enunciation first, and then let your speech "naturally" acquire such pronunciations as it gets more rapid.)
    – Hot Licks
    Commented May 13, 2015 at 1:01
  • It is fairly common here in the New England. As a non-native speaker, if your goal is to be understood, there is nothing wrong with enunciating your words carefully.
    – Lumberjack
    Commented May 13, 2015 at 1:02
  • 1
    I live in New York City and I say "I muh-nuh" 100 times a day.
    – Dare
    Commented May 13, 2015 at 1:26
  • 1
    I'm with Dare... (New York Area) "I muh-nuh, or, "Ah muh-nuh" is very common. You might even say to your boss, "Ah muh-nuh get some coffee - would you care for a cup?" The truly informal form is: "Ahmo," as in: "Ahmo hit you so hard, I'll kill your whole family."
    – Oldbag
    Commented May 13, 2015 at 4:53
  • 1
    "Imma" /ama/ is very common in AAE.
    – Mitch
    Commented Oct 30, 2022 at 2:42

2 Answers 2


As a native speaker of standard Midwestern American English, "I muhnuh" sounds perfectly ordinary, to me, hearing it from another American English speaker. However, if I knew you were not a native speaker of English, there might be a problem. Since it's very unusual for a non-native speaker to have a native-like command of casual conversation, I might not understand you, or, especially if you didn't say it right, I might think you were making fun of my own pronunciation. The right way to say it is something like [ɑjmə̃ɾ̃ə̃], with reduced vowels (not "uh") and with the n flapped.

  • 1
    Or just [ɑmə̃ɾ̃ə̃]. The diphthong is an extra tongue gesture that's not on the way to anything else. Commented May 13, 2015 at 3:51

These pronunciations are extremely common in the US: I'm gonna, I'm gunna, and I muh-nuh (often written as I'munna).

These are not the correct ways to pronounce "I'm going to." They're formed from either slurred or quick speech, a natural occurrence in speaking your native language.

I'd say whether you decide to adopt one of these pronunciations should depend on the area you live in or what you hear the most. If you're hearing a lot of people say I muh-nuh, you could try that yourself. However, there is a benefit to not naturally saying these already: speaking formally is a good practice nowadays and is good for things such as giving off a good impression in an important interview.

  • 2
    I take issue with your declarations that these pronunciations are incorrect. I think it is more accurate to say that they are regional and informal pronunciations.
    – user11550
    Commented May 13, 2015 at 4:27
  • @Mahnax I can agree with that. However, my issue with brushing these off as informal is that they explicitly redefine the pronunciation of the original phrase. Maybe I'm just being picky.
    – Adam
    Commented May 13, 2015 at 4:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.