Wondering About Wonder?

15 December 2023

Hi there! This week on Ask a Teacher, we answer a question about the word "wonder" as a noun and a verb.


Hello teacher,

I am one of your followers from Iran.

I have question about the word "wonder."

How can I use it as a noun and a verb in a sentence in various ways?




This is a great question, especially for the month of December, Ali. We sometimes describe Christmas as "the most wonderful time of the year." The expression comes from a song by Andy Williams.

"Wonderful" mean full of wonder. But what exactly is "wonder?"

In today's Ask a Teacher will we answer your question by looking at "wonder" as a noun and a verb.

Wonder as a noun

"Wonder" is the feeling of surprise and amazement usually caused by something that is new, strange, unexpected or different. It can also be something that people can admire or love and want to protect.

The roaming cats of Old San Juan are one of the wonders of Puerto Rico.

You may have heard people say, "no wonder." This is another way of saying "it is not surprising." For example:

It is no wonder that the meeting started late. Everyone was stuck in traffic!

Now let's look at "wonder" as a verb.

Wonder as verb

"Wonder" can mean to be in a state of surprise.

I always wonder at Amaury Guichon's life-size chocolate sculptures of things like dragons and giraffes!

It can also mean to think about something because it interests you.

I wonder what the economy will be like after inflation.

Jessica wondered where her next vacation would be: Scotland or Thailand?

We can also use "wonder" to make formal and polite requests.

I wonder if you could pick me up at the train station next week.

"Wonder" can also be used as an adjective. We use "wonder" to describe something that is extraordinary.

Wonder Woman has superhuman strength and the ability to fly!

There were many wonder drugs developed in the 20th century, including penicillin and insulin.

Please let us know if these explanations and examples have helped you, Ali.

Do you have a question about American English? Send us an email at learningenglish@voanews.com.

And that's Ask a Teacher.

I'm Faith Pirlo.

Faith Pirlo wrote this lesson for VOA Learning English.


Words in This Story

amazement – n. a feeling of being very surprised or shocked

admirev. to feel respect or approval of someone

roam v. to go to different places without having a particular purpose or plan

sculpture – n. a form of art in which hard materials are worked into object that has width, height, and depth

formal adj. serious and official