Want / Want To

You went to a bar called ‘Da’. The bar sold only one thing which was Da. You didn’t know what ‘Da’ was and it seemed very spicious. Could be drugs but also could be nothing. While you were just standing still not knowing what to do, the bartender walked to you and asked ‘wanna Da? or want to go sip Da?’




Wanna Da?

You didn’t know what to do but you wanted to try it, so you said yes. Then the bartender said “REPEAT AFTER ME, WANNA DA”. My beloved readers, say ‘wanna da’ now.


In fact, He didn’t speak English, he just said ‘원하다’ which means ‘want’ in the Korean language. Happy accidently, ‘원하다’ and ‘wanna’ didn’t only sound similar, meaning was also similar.


Korean Language Course 30. Want in Korean 1


Cut the story for now and now it’s learny learn learn time. First, let’s make it into haeyo style. so we can use it in conversations. Remove the ending 다 from 원하다 and add 어요 at the end. 하 and 어 are combined into 해. So, in the Haeyo style. it’s 원해요.


Unfortunately, 원해요 sounds like you wish something to a Genie like ‘I want magical power’. Native Koreans barely use 원해요 because it sounds formal or dramatical. Using 원해요 often makes a broken unnatural Korean language. Then, what should we do to say ‘want’ naturally and casually in the Korean language?



Common Mistake

When I talk to Korean language learners, They often say ‘저는 그것을 원해요’. That literally means ‘I want that’ but it actually sounds like ‘I desire that’ or ‘I require that’. It sounds very formal and, of course, weird when you hear it in a casual conversation. But why does this mistake happen so often to students?




Want in Korean

We can see a big difference between English and the Korean language. In English, ‘want’ is an independent word. So many students make a mistake by speaking Korean in an English way (e.g. 저는 피자를 원해요). However, ‘Want’ in the Korean language works totally differently.


Korean Language Course 30. Want in Korean 2


In the Korean language, we always express what to do, not only what we want. If we want pizza, then we say ‘I want to eat pizza’. If we want a new phone, then we say ‘I want to buy a new phone’, not ‘I want a new phone’


Because ‘want’ in the Korean language is also a conjugation. But it means ‘want to -’, not just ‘want’. You can’t use it without an extra verb. So, when you speak Korean, try to say what you want to do, only what you want. And this is why so many students make a mistake at least one time while they’re learning the word ‘want’. Then, what should we do exactly?




Want To in Korean

The bartender asked you again, ‘Want to go sip Da?’. You didn’t understand why he asked you that. Then, he pointed something with his finger that said ‘Want to = Gosipda’. But What is ‘want to = gosipda’?


Korean Language Course 30. Want in Korean 3


It literally means that ‘-고 싶다’ conjugation means ‘want to’. Since it means ‘want to’ you always have to use an extra verb to finish the sentence. As an example, ‘I want to eat pizza’ like this. Well… unless you really want to say ‘I want to pizza’ like stupid.


‘고 싶다’ is much more casual and natural in any situation (even in formal situations often). This is how the Korean language really works. It’s a grammar rule you must follow if you want a natural Korean.





Wasn’t it interesting that even ‘want to’ is a conjugation? In the Korean language, many words are not words but conjugations. I’m going to give you one more example of it. Why don’t you check the next tutorial? Let’s do just one more tutorial. And also if you liked this tutorial, join us in Patreon. We are looking for a new CEO.



Jun Hamm

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