Ways to Express Desire - I Want - Tai and Hoshii

Have you ever wondered how to say you want something, or want to do something in Japanese? Or would you even like to say that you don't want to do something? Learning this is very useful in basic conversation. For that, we will learn the “tai” and “hoshii” form.

  • The "tai" form is used to indicate that you want to do something. (play / play / kill / sing ...)
  • The hoshii form is used to indicate that you want something. (object / thing / person / animal)

"Tai" shape たい

When you want to say that you want to do something, that is a verb, we use the form “tai”たい. The suffix tai works in the same way as “masu”ます. That is, if you want something, you must end the verb with “tai”Instead of“ masu ”.

Example: I want to eat / tabetai desu 食べたいです

Just like the suffix “masu” o “-tai”Has its grammatical forms.

Present / Future Past
Affirmative tai desu takatta desu
Negative takunai desu takunakatta desu

See a wish list with the form “-tai”That you can learn:

 Verb Verb - kanji tai - romaji tai - kanji Meaning
kau 買う kaitai 買いたい I want to buy
matsu 待つ machitai 待ちたい I want to wait
noru 乗る noritai 乗りたい I want to ride
nomu 飲む name 飲みたい I want to drink
shinu 死ぬ shintai 死にたい I wanna die
asobu 遊ぶ asobitai 遊びたい I want play
iku 行く ikitai 行きたい I want to go
oyogu 泳ぐ oyogitai 泳ぎたい I want to swim
hanasu 話す hanashitai 話したい I want to talk
miru 見る mitai 見たい I want to see
suru する shitai したい I want to do
kuru くる kitai きたい I want to come

Learning this you can start creating phrases like this:

  • 私は車を買いたいです。
  • Watashi wa kuruma o kaitai desu;
  • I want to buy a car
  • 日本へ行きたいです。
  • Nihon and ikitai desu;
  • I want to go to Japan

“Hoshii” shape ほしい / 欲しい

When it comes to nouns we use the term ほしい to say that we want something. Pay attention to how the sentence is organized:

(私は) noun がほしいです
(watashi wa) Noun ga hoshii desu

The shape hoshii it is quite simple. Just put whatever substantivism you want, to say you want something. The shape hoshii it can only be used for things and objects. It should not be used to indicate that you want to do an action, for this there is the "tai" form.

Just like the “-tai” form the hoshii has its grammatical forms:

Format Kanji Furigana
Simple form 欲しい ほしい hoshii
Past 欲しかった ほしかった hoshikatta
Denial 欲しくない ほしくない hoshikunai
Past Denial 欲しくなかった ほしくなかった hoshikunakatta
Shape -sa 欲しさ ほしさ hoshisa
Shape -I’m 欲しそう ほしそう hoshisou


Kanji 私は沢山お金が欲しいです.
Furigana わたしはたくさんおかねがほしいです.
Rōmaji watashi wa takusan okane ga hoshii desu
English  I want to make a lot of money.
  • 田中さんは犬ほしいです;
  • Tanaka san wa inu ga hoshii desu
  • Mr. Tanaka wants a dog;
  • あなたは何ほしいですか;
  • anata wa nani ga hoshii desu ka
  • What you want?
  • Today is raining. I want an umbrella;
  • kyou wa love ga futte imasu. kasa ga hoshii desu
  • 今日は雨が降っています. 傘ほしいです;
  • 私は恋人.ほしいです
  • watashi wa koibito ga hoshii desu
  • I want a boyfriend / girlfriend;
  • 私は日本人の友達 ほしいです
  • watashi wa nihonjin no tomodachi ga hoshii desu
  • I want a Japanese friend;
  • 私はとても忙しいから、時間 ほしいです。
  • watashi wa totemo isogashii kara, jikan ga hoshii desu
  • I'm so busy, I need time;
  • 子供の時人形 ほしかったですが、今はほしくないです。
  • kodomo no toki ningyou ga hoshikatta desu ga, ima wa hoshikunai desu;
  • I wanted a doll when I was a child, not now;
  • 五年前にカメラ ほしくなかったですが、今はほしいです。
  • gonen mae ni kamera ga hoshikunakatta desu ga, ima wa hoshii desu
  • I didn't want a camera 5 years ago, I want a current one;


Below a video that can help with the tai form:

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