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I'm going through my elementary Japanese learning book and another question came to mind.

So, 欲しい{ほしい} means "want" and 居る{いる} means "to be", "to have" or "to exist"

How does one combine the two to say "Do you want to be ...?"

Example:

Do you want to be my team member (e.g sports team member) ?

I first thought:

僕のチームのメンバーが欲しいですか。

But that sounds more like "Do you want my team member?"

Then my next thought was:

僕のチームのメンバーがいますか。

However, doesn't that mean "Does my team member exist?"

:D

So...yeah, scratching my head at the moment.

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    guidetojapanese.org/desire.html There's a little bit more to desire in Japanese. So I'd say you read through the page I linked. Also, I think your book would provide this information as well (just in the later chapters). Nov 20, 2015 at 6:51
  • Rightio, thanks for the link @RnBandCrunk Extra explanation and information is like another piece of the puzzle filled in, making it more clear :D
    – CuriousOne
    Nov 20, 2015 at 6:59

2 Answers 2

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Translating "want" is slightly difficult:

  • "want that" =「thatが欲しい」"want to own that stuff"
  • "want to do that act" = 「thatをしたい」
  • "want to be that" = 「thatになりたい」"want to become that role/position/status" or「thatでありたい」"want to keep that state"

I think「僕のチームのメンバーになりたいですか」is good for "Do you want to become my team member?". If you ask him/her to become your team member, you can also say「僕のチームのメンバーになりませんか」.

「僕のteam memberがいますか」means "Does my team member exist?" as you say.

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Basically, 欲しい is used only when:

  • the subject wants some thing (e.g., "水が欲しい": "I want [some] water")
  • after the て-form of a verb, when the subject wants somebody else to do something (e.g., "やめてほしい": "I want [you] to stop [doing that]")

In your example though, it's not a matter of the subject --"you"-- wanting something to happen, but a question of what the other person wants. In that case, you could use the continuative form of the verb (連用形{れんようけい}) + -たい:

僕のチームのメンバーになりたい(ですか・かな)?

However, keep in mind that using -たい in the 2nd person like this is considered to be an informal construction, usually best reserved for friends and/or people (significantly) younger than you are.

In a polite setting, asking what somebody wants is usually avoided simply by asking directly what that person will do:

僕のチームのメンバーになりませんか?

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