In the above video 2016 State of the Union Address, at 2:10, according to the script, president Obama said "I’m going to try to make it a little shorter. ", but I cannnot hear " I'm going", is there a special pronunciation rule?

  • There is no special rule, I suppose. He just said it rather quickly, which is quite normal, IMHO. But the more importantly thing is, what do you think he said? Commented Feb 1, 2016 at 14:00
  • I think he said I'm gonna try..., which has the same meaning. I'm not a native English speaker, though.
    – mrnld
    Commented Feb 1, 2016 at 14:06
  • @DamkerngT. I only hear"Mmm, try to..." I don't hear gonna.
    – OscarLiu
    Commented Feb 1, 2016 at 14:34
  • This is normal in very informal speech. "I'm going to" often gets shortened to "I'm gonna", and that often gets shortened even more to a kind of slurred "Mmna". Any native speaker will understand what's meant, but I can see how it would be very tricky for a learner.
    – stangdon
    Commented Feb 1, 2016 at 15:26

2 Answers 2


There is no pronunciation rule, for this
What you are hearing is

Ummm gonna try to make it a little shorter

where Obama is being a bit more informal in pronunciation with gonna and Ummm and a slight folksy accent. His cadence was also faster. He's doing this since he trying to get a laugh as it is his last SOTU. Notice the difference in his tone of voice when he's joking about "getting back to Iowa" and then when he resumes his set speech.

This is in contrast to his opening remarks which are clearly enunciated and measured and what everyone would normally expect.

  • That's strange, I only hear"Mmm, try to..." I don't hear gonna.
    – OscarLiu
    Commented Feb 1, 2016 at 14:33

At the time posted, President Obama appears to say:


Which is basically just a quick way of saying

I'm gonna

The best way to think about it is like a contraction:

I'm+gonna = I'mna

Which is just slang for:

I'm going to

It is not a word of course, but it is basically just him saying "I'm gonna" very fast and in the process cutting out half of gonna. As someone mentioned in the comments it sounds very natural to a native speaker because that sort of "sloppy talk" is very common in informal conversations.

  • Not sure I even hear an 'I' - it's essentially 'Mna'. I know the first time I heard it I thought he'd said something else, until the context of the sentence made it clear. Unfortunately, I can't remember what it was, though - and on repeat viewings can only hear it correctly!
    – Easy Tiger
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 3:25

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