Sometimes I want to tell expressions like:

Mrs. Honda wants to swim in the sea.

All I have in my Japanese notes is:

私はケータイがほしいです。(Syntax used for expressing my personal desires for an object)
本田さんはケータイをほしがっています。(Syntax used for when a third party wants/desires an object.)
子どもはアイスクリームをほしがります。(Syntax used when a group of people wants something.)

As is noticed above the ほしい(です) part becomes ほしがる. Does this apply when talking about what a 3rd party person wants. either is an object or an action that wants to do.

  • 1
    「ほじかったいます」もタイポでは・・・? Are you sure it was what you meant to type? Also, アイスクウリーム-> アイスクリーム
    – Chocolate
    Jun 20 '16 at 13:28
  • 1
    Ekhmmm... when I said 〜がほしい instead of 〜を I meant that for every example.
    – macraf
    Jun 20 '16 at 14:11
  • You use が for ケータイほしいです cos ほしい is an i-adjective but を for ケータイほしがっています cos ほしがる is a verb. (I edited your examples) By the way, XXはYYをほしがっています and XXはYYをほしがます are a bit different.
    – Chocolate
    Jun 21 '16 at 1:17

According to Senko Maynard (2009:172), the difference between ~たい and ~たがる is due to a distinction made between what a person directly experiences or feels and information a person has only indirect access to.

In the same way, the Kurosio Dictionary of Grammar (2014:202) says ~たがる is "used to express the wishes or desires of a third person", implying the meaning of "showing signs of s.t.". It seems like we can just tell someone/something shows signs of wanting to do something.

  • So the answer to my problem is: 本田さん海で泳ぎたがります。 Right? Jun 20 '16 at 16:01
  • 1
    Yup! Or else 「本田さんは海で泳ぎたがる。」with the particle :)
    – hikkifan
    Jun 20 '16 at 16:23
  • 1
    本田さんは海で泳ぎたがる -> Usually we say 本田さんは海で泳ぎたがっている。(or 泳ぎたがっています。 in the polite form), no?
    – Chocolate
    Jun 21 '16 at 1:11
  • @chocolate Indeed! I didn't pay enough attention to the structure being used mainly in the present continuous, sorry about that
    – hikkifan
    Jun 21 '16 at 1:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.