"Wonder" vs. "wander"

I wonder why your mind wanders when there’s so much to be done. Despite the minimal difference in spelling, the meaning is very different.

  • wonder (v.) – a question that you ask because you wish to know something
  • wander (v.) – to walk around without a purpose

(a) wonder

If you ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I ready?
    Will I be a responsible husband?
    Can I earn enough to support my family?

… it shows that you’re wondering if you could make a good husband to provide for your family.


  1. Have you ever wondered why it hurts to be divorced?
  2. I wonder if I’d ever change to be a better person.
  3. Every one is wondering about the events that led to our marital problems.

(b) wander

When you wander, you don’t think; you just walk aimlessly and without knowing where you’re going. If your mind wanders, it means your mind is not thinking of anything specific or important. When you daydream, your mind wanders.


  1. My mind was wandering at the meeting just now; it was just too boring.
  2. Kids who wander without their parents are likely to be victims of kidnappers.
  3. When I’m alone, my mind wanders and I start recalling the past.

Here’s a song and the lyrics for the word “wander“, and a link to the music.  If you’ve been camping when you were a kid, you might be familiar with the song.  Enjoy! 🙂

The Happy Wanderer (Click here for the music)

I love to go a-wandering,
Along the mountain track,
And as I go, I love to sing,
My knapsack on my back.

My knapsack on my back.

I love to wander by the stream
That dances in the sun,
So joyously it calls to me,
“Come! Join my happy song!”

I wave my hat to all I meet,
And they wave back to me,
And blackbirds call so loud and sweet
From ev’ry green wood tree.

High overhead, the skylarks wing,
They never rest at home
But just like me, they love to sing,
As o’er the world we roam.

Oh, may I go a-wandering
Until the day I die!
Oh, may I always laugh and sing,
Beneath God’s clear blue sky!


Posted on March 11, 2010, in Word Power and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Used to sing this song during primary school days & only remember “My knapsack on my back & the ha-ha-ha..”. Totally forgotten the name of the song until I click on the video ~ Val-dera-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. tQ

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