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Hi this is Tutor Nick P and this is Lesson 311.
Today the lesson is the difference between wow and whoa.
Okay . The first thing to look at which always surprised me is that sometimes students of ESL have
difficulty with pronunciation.
A lot of times.... and the biggest problem is usually with wow, they often pronounce
like whoa.
So students will be reading and WHOA will be there and they will read it as wow.
And I tell them No.
Wow is WOW, So remember wow has that sort of an Ow sound at he end.
(like in ouch) Like you hurt yourself.
And whoa has more of an oh sound like in Oh boy !. So the first thing to really note is
to make sure you clearly know the difference in pronunciation, WOW is wow and WHOA is whoa.
Let's go on.
The interjection wow is used to show that someone is very surprised , impressed, or
extremely pleased about something.
All right.
Here it is as an interjection.
Remember an interjection that is like when you just suddenly say something or you say something that interrupts
someone's speech.
That's an interjection,. so that's where is is some similarity between whoa and wow. actually,
whoa has a lot of meanings that is very different from wow.
But there is one meaning that is similar and is sometimes when they both mean surprise.
But you can kind of look and see where there is some difference.
So again, let's get back to the note here.
The interjection wow is used to show someone is very surprised, impressed, or extremely
pleased about something.
Extremely happy about something.
So you can see right away that wow again tends to be a little bit more positive.
If we use wow as a verb. This is another important difference
Wow can be a verb.
Whoa is not a verb.
So if it is a verb , it is always wow.
If we use wow as a verb, it means to greatly impress.
And fill with enthusiasm and admiration.
Like you could say her performance wowed me.
You could say that.
Okay . Let's continue.
The original meaning of whoa is a command to a horse to stop or slow down.
So that is where it comes from.
Obviously if it is used in that way it is always whoa.
You can imagine from some cowboy movies.
A cowboy is holding is holding the reins.
Whoa . Whoa . Tying to tell the horse to either slow down or come to a complete stop.
So that is also important because that is kind of translates over to one of the uses
that we use whoa as an interjection too.
So let's continue here.
One of the main uses of whoa is to tell people to do something more slowly or stop.
We often tell people to speak more slowly.
Like if somebody was speaking very quickly.
Too quickly, you couldn't understand them.
Maybe they were very excited or nervous.
and you we saying whoa, whoa slow down.
Speak slower so I can understand you clearly.
You could say that.
Let's continue here.
Whoa can also be used to express surprise.
, interest , alarm , especially followed by a strong reaction.
Surprise is the one we are going to get to.
Where that could be some crossover.
This is why I think students get confused is because there is a little similarity.
sometimes when they mean surprise.
Alarm is probably more just with whoa, especially when some thing is threatening or scary, you
are probably a little more likely to use whoa.
Whoa tends to be a little more negative.especially followed by a strong reaction.
Yeah like if some one was possibly threatening you.
You say whoa ,whoa back off.
Whoa what are you doing ? We wouldn't say wow what are you doing ? In a way like you
are going to attack a person.
Or a person is aggressive or threating you.
You wouldn't say wow like how nice of you.
No we would say Whoa, whoa.
Sometimes we might often used it to back off a little bit too.
Which is basically similar to the idea of stop.
Let's continue.
Although this is not a hard-and=fast rule.
That means that it is not a hundred percent.
Many people often feel wow is more often used in positive situations that is what I mentioned
and whoa is in negatives ones.
Now you can find some examples where you can say that is not one hundred percent true.
Yeah, but in general probably 70 or 80 % of the time it is kind of true.
Let's give some examples here.
You know, especially if you are excited about something.
You can say Wow ! you did it, We probably wouldn't say whoa you did it.
Unless it was a bad thing maybe.
Okay number two.
Wow ! This is delicious.
We probably wouldn't say whoa this is delicious.
We are a little more likely t say wow in this sort of situation.
You bought me a present..
Yeah you are much more likely to say wow than whoa you bought me a present.
It sounds a little awkward.
No . Whoa you bought me a present like...No.
We wouldn't do it that way.
Here are some situations in whoa is probably more common.
Whoa ! Speak slower.
I cannot understand what you said.
Or number two here.
Whoa !. Don't climb on that . You might hurt yourself.
Yeah . That is one way we wouldn't say wow.
If you are warning someone.
Like Whoa that's dangerous.
You wouldn't say . Wow.
Don't climb on that.
Wow sounds like you are impressed.
They can accomplish that.
That t hey have good skill climbing up there.
Here you are telling them there is some danger. You know, so it expresses some alarm.
Whoa ! I cannot believe you insulted her like that.
Yes we are much more likely to say Whoa in this situation.
Whoa don't raise your voice to me, especially if someone was being aggressive.
to you.
They started talking to you in kind of a threatening way.
You say whoa , whoa.
This is another one that means to slow down or stop.
Back off.
But here is some crossover.
Here is a few examples of crossover.
Maybe either one could be used.
So there are some examples where it might be okay.
You could either say wow or whoa that's impressive.
You could.
Wow or whoa look at the size of that mountain.
You could say wow that it is kind of exciting.
or you could say whoa like wow you didn't expect that .Whoa.
It is so large..
. especially with size we might sometimes use wow or whoa.
Either way.
I hope you got a little bit of a better feel when to use them and when not to use them.
What to look out for.
Be careful about the pronunciation.
Okay anyway.
I hope you got it, I hope it is clear, Thank you for your time.
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English Tutor Nick P Lesson (311) The Difference Between Wow and Whoa

26 Folder Collection
anitawu12 published on May 12, 2019
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