Difference Between Wander and Wonder

Wander vs Wonder

Wander and wonder are two English verbs that are quite different in meaning from one another. They are, however, enough to confuse the students of English language, particularly when they come out of the mouths of Americans and Britons. If you are learning English, you should be careful in catching these words as their pronunciations are very similar. You must also make careful application of these words when writing as both have very different meanings. This article attempts to highlight the differences between wander and wonder to remove all doubts form the minds of the readers.


Wander is a verb that refers to the act of moving around aimlessly and without a purpose. It is an activity that requires one to be strolling here and there without a destination in mind though wandering can be mental also as when one’s mind wanders in his sleep. The word is also used to indicate nonphysical activities such as wandering conversation or a wandering movie or a story. Take a look at the following examples to understand the meaning and usage of the verb wander clearly.

• The man was found wandering in the park talking incoherently to self.

• Do not let your mind wander while you are studying something important.

• We have been wandering on the streets for the last 45 minutes to find out the restaurant.


Wonder is a verb that refers to the act or feeling of curiosity, admiration, marvel, or doubt when seeing or experiencing something. It is an activity that is all mental, and there is no physicality involved with the word wonder. We start to wonder when we see something unusual or something that is bizarre and not natural. If you are wondering about something, you are experiencing feelings of awe, surprise, admiration, amazement, etc. We wonder when we are presented with something that is strange, extraordinary, great, new, or unusual. Take a look at the following examples to understand the meaning of wonder clearly.

• The Taj Mahal is one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

• How I wonder what you are

• I wonder how you can understand the concepts of physics so easily.

What is the difference between Wander and Wonder?

• Wander is a physical activity whereas wonder is a mental activity.

• Wander is moving aimlessly or without a purpose whereas wonder is feelings of amazement or admiration.

• Wonder comes from wunder, a word for marvelous or wonderful thing.

• The origin of wander is from wandrian that means to move aimlessly.