The context is this.
A girl who was always alone when she was a kid had a butler who was called すわの who is now far away from her. She just saved a boy from drowning and she feels good about that because the boy and his brother thanked her for that.


The translation is

If you were here I would ask you.
I do not know by myself but I feel warm inside.

Is the translation wrong?
Isn't てほしい used when you want someone to do something?

I would translate it

Suwano, If you were here I would have wanted you to listen.
I can't really understand by myself, but that time my heart became warm like this.

Also can someone explain me how this form works?
Could I use the particle が in a sentence like this

I want A to teach B English

I know the first one is correct, but what about the second one?

Another user made this example to me in a previous thread. It was this


This sentence can be translated as two ways.

A. I want him to teach someone English.

A' (彼女が私に英語を教えてくれると言っているけれど、私は)彼に英語を教えてほしい。

B. I want you to teach him English.

B'. (あなたは英語を教えるのがうまいから、あなたが)彼に英語を教えてほしい。

In B' could it become


Also how can I know if 聞いてほしい is want someone to listen or want someone to ask?

Edit. Nothing at all was referring to something I wrote before but it was just confusing so I edited it out.

Edit 2. For those who want to know the source for the context it's Binbougami Ga!? Episode 3 about minute 19.30

  • 1
    ~たがりたい doesn't make sense; ~たがる means 'giving the impression of wanting to ~'. Someone could say 僕に聞きたい事があるんだって 'He/She/It/They said they wanted to ask me something,' for an example of your thing.
    – Angelos
    Nov 17, 2015 at 23:31
  • Thanks. I edited my question since that was not I wanted to ask and it was just confusing. You still cleared a doubt of mine with たがる though.
    – Splikie
    Nov 17, 2015 at 23:33

1 Answer 1



This sentence might NOT be translated as ''...I would ask you.'' It is no wonder you doubt the translation.
聞いてほしい means that the speaker wants someone to do 聞く.
Conversely, if the translation were correct, the original must be 聞きたかった or 尋{たず}ねたかった.

聞く can mean either listen or ask. Also, it can be translated as follow or obey in other contexts.
It depends on the context which meaning does ''聞く'' express. The root concept of 聞く seems to know by receiving some sound.

I want A to teach B English. / A=あなた B=彼

1.(?) 私{わたし}は、ABに英語{えいご}を教{おし}えてほしい。/ (?)私はあなた彼に英語を教えてほしい。
2. 私は、ABに英語を教えてほしい。/私はあなた彼に英語を教えてほしい。
3. 私は、AからBに英語を教えてほしい。/私はあなたから彼に英語を教えてほしい。 

Example #1 is not wrong grammatically, but the meaning is a bit unclear because ''someone+に'' follows the same form.
So, you'd better say as #2 or #3.

cf. ''から'' is used to indicate the subject when the verb is 伝{つた}える, 話{はな}す, 言{い}う, 教{おし}える, 渡{わた}す, 送{おく}る, and so on. 
For examples,

I want you to hand this to him.

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