Korean Language Blog

Expressing Desire Posted by on Apr 11, 2010 in Grammar

When expressing desire in the first person, use the construction ~고 싶다.

김치를 먹고 싶어요 = I want to eat kimchee.

(김치 = kimchee. = object marking particle. 먹고 싶어요 = want to eat)

In the third person, use the construction ~고 싶어하다.

민지는 여행가고 싶어해요 = Minji wants to travel.

(민지 = Minji. = topic marking particle. 여행가고 싶어해요 = want to travel)

~고 싶다 and ~고 싶어하다 can also be used in the past tense.

일찍 자고 싶었어요 = I wanted to sleep early.

(일찍 = early. 자고 싶었어요 = wanted to sleep)

성수가 창문을 열고 싶어했어요 = Sungsu wanted to open the window.

(성수 = Sungsu. = subject marking particle. 창문 = window. = object marking particle. 열고 싶어했어요 = wanted to open)

To form the 고 싶다/고 싶어하다 construction, just drop the of the verb. Therefore 먹다 will be 먹고 싶다, 여행가다 = 여행가고 싶다, 자다 = 자고 싶다, 열다 = 열고 싶다.

The ~고 싶다 and ~고 싶어하다 is used with verbs, but to express desire with nouns, the construction ~/를 원하다 is used.

상민은 큰 집을 원해요 = Sangmin wants a big house.

(상민 = Sangmin. = topic marking paticle. = big. = house. = object marking particle. 원해요 = want)

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  1. yuki:

    thank you for this blog !
    it’s very useful ^^

  2. Sam:

    brilliantly explained! Thank you.

  3. 나비:

    This site has taught me a lot! The clear explanations and examples are very helpful! 감사합니다!^^