When first learning Japanese grammar, one is usually taught that to express a desire to do something one should use the 〜たい form of the verb:


On some occasions, however, I've also seen this sentiment expressed as 〜てほしい, like so:


Is there any particular nuance or usage difference between the two forms?

Bonus question: Are the nuances the same in the case of 〜たがっている and 〜ほしがっている (other than the fact that these forms are used to indicate what it appears other people want to do)?


1 Answer 1


〜てほしい is used when you want someone else to do something. I've never heard it used in reference to one's own desires (and in fact, may be ungrammatical).


  • Ah, that makes sense. So essentially it functions as another way of making a request.
    – Kaji
    May 1, 2014 at 21:21
  • For a practical example, there is this line in the song 打上花火 that reads 「この夜が続いて欲しかった」which means "(I) wanted this night to continue." If it had been 「この夜が続きたい」, it would mean "This night wanted to continue (itself)." There are instances where たい and 欲しい would mean completely different things.
    – Nicholas
    Apr 2, 2021 at 4:47

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