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I'm experiencing a little confusion with the verb form meaning "to want", and am a little confused as to how to say "would like to" instead. In Japanese, are the two meanings combined into the ending 〜たい? I've had language partners before say, for example, 「東京に行きたいと思う」and this was translated to, "I would like to go to Tokyo" by our messenger's in-app translator. Is this also acceptable to say?

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    So what exactly is the question? If "what does it mean", then your app translated it correctly -- do you request just a confirmation? And what are the "two meanings" you are talking about? Do "want to" and "would like to" convey different meanings in English? – macraf Jul 8 '17 at 2:22
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    Related, maybe? japanese.stackexchange.com/q/5005/9831 – Chocolate Jul 8 '17 at 4:39
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~たいと思う
I'm experiencing a little confusion with the verb form meaning "to want", and am a little confused as to how to say "would like to" instead.

In Japanese, are the two meanings combined into the ending 〜たい?

I've had language partners before say, for example, 「東京に行きたいと思う」and this was translated to, "I would like to go to Tokyo" by our messenger's in-app translator. Is this also acceptable to say?

In Japanese, ~たい alone is too bare and sounds too abrupt or too decisive. It can be a good style for such as an enthusiastic speech.

~たいと思う is the little more attenuated version of the same thing.

The most normal way to say the same thing to talk to someone is ~たいと思います.

Your app translation of 東京に行きたいと思う is acceptable when you are talking to your close friend or family. Otherwise, you should say 東京に行きたいと思います/思っています/行きたいのですが… etc.

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It basically means "I think I will ~"

店に行きたいと思います。 / I think I will go to the store.

The result is a more polite/roundabout way of expressing one's intent to do something.

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