Korean Lesson 18: I want to…


In this lesson we will be learning about how to say “I want”.

In Korean there are a few ways to express this.  If you translated or looked up ‘want’ in a dictionary it would probably turn out as ‘won’.  This is of no use to you though as this isn’t how Koreans would actually say “I want to go to the city centre”.

Instead, Koreans would use this construction:

verb (without the -ta/da ending) + go + ship’øyo

…고 싶어요

e.g.

kago ship’øyo – I want to go / 가고 싶어요

shinae-e kago ship’øyo – I want to go into town / 시내에 가고 싶어요

i-gøl sago ship’øyo – I want to buy this / 이걸 사고 싶어요

ch’ukku-rûl ch’igo ship’øyo – I want to play football (soccer) / 추꾸를 치고 싶어요

yøgi-sø honja chaju ch’aeg-ûl ilggo ship’øyo – I often want to read here alone /

여기서 혼자 자주 책을 읽고 싶어요

There is still the verb ‘won hada – to want’ but we will not go onto this for now.

The only slight difficulty with this rule is that when you talk about someone else you need to change it slightly:

Kim-ssi-ga yøgi-sø møkgo ship’ø haeyo – Mrs Kim wants to eat here / 김씨가 여기 먹고 싶어 해요

Jaimsu-nun i-t’ellebijon-ûl sago ship’ø haeyo – James wants to buy this TV / 자임스는 이텔레비존을 사고 싶어 해요

Pak-ssi-hago mannago ship’ø haeyo? – Do you want to meet Mr Park? / 박씨하고 만나고 싶어 해요?

(The surname Park is actually Pak in Korean?! So the Manchester United player is actually called Pak Ji Søn 박 지 선.  Søn is his first name, his middle name is Ji and his surname, which comes first in the order, is Pak.  Therefore he is Pak-ssi = Mr Pak.  Weird, huh?!)

So to sum up:

I want = verb + go + ship’øyo

You/he/she etc. wants = verb + go + ship’ø + haeyo

It’s actually quite easy isn’t it?  Try some more:

1) ke-rûl sago ship’øyo —————————————————————————–  I want to buy a dog

2) koyangi-rûl p’algo ship’ø haeyo ————————————————– (She) wants to sell some cats / a cat

3) abøji-ga isahago ship’ø haeyo ————————————- Dad wants to move house (isa hada – to move)

4) kach’i kago ship’øyo —————————————————————————– I want (us) to go together

5) ûmshig-ûl mokgo ship’ø haeyo —————————————————————————– (He) wants food

I’ve put some in brackets because it could also mean any of the following: you/he/she/we/they:

hangugø-rûl pae-ugo ship’ø haeyo – You/she/he/we/they want to learn Korean

한국어를 배우고 싶어 해요

How do you feel about this?  Leave a comment!

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