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I was wondering if the following two sentences have the same meaning. I'm seeing both をほしい and がほしい on my Anki deck and I was just wondering if they were interchangeable or if I just made a mistake when I was adding them in.

トムさんはともだちほしがっています。

トムさんはともだちほしがっています。

Thank you everyone!

3 Answers 3

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欲しい is an adjective, "を + adjective" is not common, "が + adjective" is common, so が欲しい is common.

欲しがる is a verb and mainly used as a transitive verb, so を is usually placed before 欲しがる.

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Grammaticaly speaking, を is the right choice here because of がる being attached to ほしい. If ほしい is alone, then が is the right choice. But you may find both, still, がほしい is way more common than をほしい and をほしがっている is more frequent that がほしがっている.

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  • So it's like this 〜がほしい and 〜をほしがる?
    – John
    Feb 28, 2016 at 5:43
  • Yes, that is it. Feb 28, 2016 at 5:56
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Case 1:

When the speaker itself is the subject:

  • (私は、)新しい車がほしい。I want a new car.
  • (私は、)あなたに一万円を(私に)貸してほしい。I want you to lend ten thousands yen (to me).

Case 2:

When the speaker wants to say that someone (third person) wants something or wants to do something:

  • 彼は新しい車をほしがっている。He wants a new car.
  • 彼はあなたに一万円を(彼に)貸してほしがっている。He wants you to lend ten thousands yen (to him).

Case 3:

When the speaker wants to ask someone (second person):

  • 新しい車がほしいですか。 Do you want a new car?

  • 一万円を貸してほしいですか。Do you want me to lend ten thousands yen?

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  • Would it be safe to assume that ほしがる is always paired with ?
    – John
    Feb 28, 2016 at 5:46
  • And objectがほしい is always with and を〜て form+ほしい is always with .
    – John
    Feb 28, 2016 at 5:49

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