Expressing Wants in Japanese

Posted by on September 25, 2019 – Japanese Study

In Japanese you may want to know how to say – “I want this” or “I want that” or  “I want to do” something. Just like in English – there be more than one way to say this.

This article breaks down the different ways that you can express wants in Japanese.

Japanese phrases that express “want” or “wanting to do”

 

 

I want something

I want to do something

Other people  want something

Other people want to do something

 

I Want Something

When you are expressing something that you wish to have in Japanese,   you can use the word ほしい (hoshii).

ほしい is an i-adjective. It follows the grammar rules of i-adjectives in the Japanese Language. (If you want to learn about another cool i-adjective in the Japanese language – then click here.)

An easy sentence pattern that you can use is:

「 Objects + が +ほしい 」

Japanese Sentence Pattern, image, photo, picture, illustration

Japanese Sentence Pattern

Example:

新しい携帯がほしい。
Atarashii keitai ga hoshii
(I)want a new phone.

車がほしい。
Kuruma ga hoshii
(I) want a car.

In English –

When expressing that you don’t want something, Change the wordほしい to its negative form “ほしくない”.

For example:

彼がほしくない。
Kare ga hoshikunai
I don’t want a boyfriend.

I Want to Do Something

When expressing an action which you want to do, change the verb into its masu-form and change “ます” to “たい”.For example: “食べます” will be changed to “食べたい”

Example of how to express in a sentence

牛乳を/が飲みたい。
Gyuunyuu o/ga nomitai
(I) want to drink milk.

*When the verb is a transitive verb, both “を” and”が” are correct for highlightingt the subject.

家でゲームしたい。
Ie de  ge-mushitai
(I) want to play games at home.

友だちと買い物に行きたい。
Tomodachi to kaimono ni ikitai
I want to go shopping with my friends.

Similar to “ほしい” you can also use the negative form of “たい” to express something that you don’t want to do.

For example:

病院に行きたくない。
 Byouin ni ikitakunai
I don’t want to go to a hospital.

Other People Want Something

When expressing the desires of other people, use  “ほしがっている” instead of “ほしい”.

Japanese Sentence Pattern, image, photo, picture, illustration

Japanese Sentence Pattern

*For both ”ほしがっている” and “たがっている”, the particle for transitive verb should be always “を”.

Examples

林さんはお金をほしがっている。
Hayashi-san wa okane o hoshigatteiru
Hayashi wants money.

Other people want to do something

When expressing things other people want to do, Instead of using  “たい”, change it to “たがっている”

妹はいつもアニメを見たがっている
Imouto wa itsumo anime o mitagatteiru
My younger sister always wants to watch anime.

母はあの花瓶を買いたがっています
Haha wa ano kabin o kaitagatteimasu
My mom wants to buy that vase.

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