Summary

  • Groot speaking English in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is actually a stylistic choice by James Gunn to let the audience understand his language.
  • The audience finally understands that Groot is saying “I love you guys” confirming we’re all part of his family.
  • While Groot has spoken English in the comics before, it remains to be seen if he will continue to do so in future MCU appearances, as it may depend on the creative team’s decisions.


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Toward the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Groot finally says more than “I am Groot“, speaking English for the first time in the MCU – or so it seems. Ever since his introduction in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1, Groot has only ever said, “I am Groot.” When Star-Lord asks Rocket about it, the raccoon tells him, “Well he don’t know talkin’ good like me and you, so his vocabulistics is limited to ‘I’ and ‘am’ and ‘Groot,’ exclusively in that order.” Groot’s limited vocabulary is played to great comedic effect often, including when he meets Captain America in Avengers: Infinity War and Chris Evans’ hero replies, “I am Steve Rogers.

Though the audience and Steve Rogers may not speak Groot’s language, certain characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe do. For example, Thor can understand what Groot says upon first meeting the tree-like creature. By the start of the final installment of the Guardians trilogy, all the main characters except Gamora can understand Groot, and by Guardians of the Galaxy 3‘s ending she learns as well. It’s at the end of the movie when Groot speaks English for the first time in the MCU timeline, saying, “I love you guys.” James Gunn has now confirmed exactly why Groot speaks English in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3.

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Groot Didn’t Actually Speak English In Guardians of the Galaxy 3

Groot Looking Upset In Guardians of the Galaxy 3

James Gunn has confirmed on Twitter that Groot didn’t actually speak English, but that the audience simply understood his language, just as Gamora eventually learned to understand what he was saying:

Gunn also revealed on Threads that Groot suddenly speaking English has a deeper meaning than the audience simply spending enough time with him: in the most fitting parallel to Vin Diesel’s Fast & Furious mantra, it’s about family.

James Gunn Groot I Love You Guys Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3

The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 scene where Groot speaks English actually heightens the emotional impact of the scene by welcoming the viewer into the ranks of the Guardians of the Galaxy and allowing the audience to hear what the other characters hear. As a result, Groot’s sentiment, “I love you guys,” extends to the viewer as well as his fellow Guardians. Groot – and, by extension, Gunn – is speaking not only to his friends, but to the audience. Given Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is the end of the trilogy, it’s a poignant moment made even more emotional by Groot’s line being spoken in English.

The decision to have Groot speak another language and not include subtitles is a stylistic choice made by writer-director James Gunn for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1. However, that doesn’t mean he and voice actor Vin Diesel don’t know what Groot is saying. In 2016, Gunn revealed he gave Diesel a version of the Vol. 2 script that included the English translations of Groot’s lines. They’re the only ones who know what Groot is saying, though, whereas the audience only sees other characters reacting to Groot’s dialogue, forcing viewers to use context clues to determine roughly what was said.

Groot Speaking English Has Precedence In the Comics

Groot Speaks English In Marvel Comics

This isn’t the first time Groot has spoken English. When Groot was first introduced in the Marvel Comics as a villain, he was able to speak English fluently. However, he was retooled as a hero and his vocabulary was reduced to the phrase, “I am Groot.

More recently in the 2018 comics series Infinity Countdown, Groot was changed to have a much wider vocabulary. In the first issue, Groot is destroyed then revived as a sapling and a child version of the character battles the Gardener. When the Gardener is defeated, he uses his powers to restore Groot to his full-grown self, and Groot is able to speak English – though he refers to himself in third person.

Will Groot Speak English Again In The MCU?

Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 and Marvel Comics

Given that Groot has gone back and forth between speaking English in the comics, it’s entirely possible the MCU will have him evolve. However, they’d need to explain how that’s possible, otherwise they risk diminishing the emotion of Groot’s scene in Guardians of the Galaxy 3. Theoretically, since James Gunn confirmed that the audience can now understand Groot, any future appearances in the MCU should have Vin Diesel speaking English. Otherwise, the franchise would require a heavy retcon to justify this decision.

The popular theory that the MCU will reboot after Avengers: Secret Wars – if true – could be the perfect way for Marvel to create a version of Groot who speaks differently to his original live-action counterpart.

With the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Gunn officially wrapped up his time working with these characters – trading in the MCU for the new DC Universe – but it isn’t necessarily the last time Groot appears. The Guardians of the Galaxy 3 credits scenes set up Groot to return in a new form and, when he does, a different creative team will be bringing him to life.

After Vol. 3, Groot could well return for Avengers: Kang Dynasty and/or Avengers: Secret Wars, so the writers of those films will determine whether the beloved character has a wider vocabulary or sticks strictly to his famous catchphrase: “I am Groot.” For now, audiences were able to see Groot speak English at least once in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

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