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I recently encountered the sentence 「あなたに嬉しくなって欲しい」, which means “I want you to be happy.” Why is に used to mark “you”? If you rephrase the sentence as 「あなたが嬉しくなることが欲しい」, the meaning still comes through but the に drops out. So why is the に used in the first variation? Do similar patterns exist for Vstemたい and/or other adjectives?

  • I’m confused, why wouldn’t you use に here ? I would say you need the に for the sentence to make sense. Just a feeling though, sorry I wasn’t helpful. – Otsukisama Jun 6 '18 at 13:44
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Think of て欲しい as a version of てもらいたい. For example:

先生に微積分を教えてもらいたい。

"I want my teacher to teach me calculus." Or more literally, "I want to receive the favor of my teacher teaching me calculus."

The person doing the favor is marked with に. Same with て欲しい. In both of these expressions, you're probably not used to seeing the "giver" marked with a particle, because they're more often just addressed directly to that person.

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You can use から、が、に to indicate the person someone wants to do something.

私は、あなたがうれしくなってほしい。

あなたにうれしくなってほしい。

あなたから彼に教えてほしい。

I want you to teach him.

Note that てほしい is bit of a direct statement, so it's better to use てもらう or turn it into a question when having a request for someone.

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