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ane ha gakkou wo sotsugyougo ha kaigairyuugaku shitai sou desu.

My sister says that she wants to study abroad after graduating from school.

I found this sentence on http://www.mahou.org

If it is correct, would I also be able to write the same sentence (expressing the same meaning) in the following manner? I am specifically wondering about expressing desire of a third party subject using したい as opposed to したがっています. (also, is the translation's use of "says" problematic?)


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Minor observation: If we use romaji wouldn't: "Ane wa gakkou wo sotsugyou-go wa kaigai-ryuugaku shitai sou desu" be easier to read? (I don't want to edit the question directly in case yadokari has a strong preference.) – Tim Aug 28 '12 at 1:18
@tim, feel free to edit, it's not my romaji – yadokari Aug 28 '12 at 1:19
up vote 7 down vote accepted

The two sentences mean different things.

~したがる means that the subject expresses the desire to do the mentioned action. (The means of expression does not have to be explicit; for example, if it is apparent that your sister wants to study abroad from her behavior, you can say 姉は海外留学したがっている even if she does not say so explicitly.)

If you say

姉は海外留学したいそうです。 I heard that my sister wants to study abroad.

it means that you heard (probably from your sister herself) that your sister wants to study abroad.

If you say

姉は海外留学したがっているそうです。 I heard that my sister expressed her desire to study abroad.

it cannot be your sister from whom you heard it, because if so, it should be 姉は海外留学したいそうです instead of 姉は海外留学したがっているそうです.

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thank you that is what I wanted to know. Would it be grammatically incorrect to say "姉は海外留学したいです。" (without the そう) ? – yadokari Aug 27 '12 at 21:42
@yadokari: It is incorrect, and I am sure that there are several questions on this website which discuss why. (I am not sure if it is “grammatically incorrect” or “something-else-cally incorrect,” though. :)) – Tsuyoshi Ito Aug 27 '12 at 21:43
@yadokari: Found several related questions: “When to use 欲しがる instead of 欲しい” by Mark Hosang and “Is ~がる suffix limited to specific adjectives only?” by Lukman. – Tsuyoshi Ito Aug 27 '12 at 21:46
thank you i understand better now. – yadokari Aug 27 '12 at 21:59
@TsuyoshiIto, would you say that's also the case for 留学したい「ん」です? Although I agree that the rule generally applies, I can think of situations (e.g. the third person is 身内 and you want to make a strong statement) where 姉は海外留学したいんです doesn't sound that unnatural to me. – dainichi Aug 28 '12 at 1:17

If you heard it from someone other than your sister, そうです is appropriate. If you heard it from your sister directly, you would say:


or alternatively,


If it's just a guess or a perception, you would say:

姉は学校を卒業後は海外留学したいと思います。(I think my sister wants to study abroad).
姉は学校を卒業後は海外留学したそうです。(It seems my sister wants to study abroad).

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thank you. How would you translate the original sentence? – yadokari Aug 27 '12 at 19:44
The one you posted in your question? That would be closer to "I heard that my sister wants to study abroad". – Ataraxia Aug 27 '12 at 19:45

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