It's an auxiliary verb, so I'm not sure whether or not it can conjugate. For example, is it correct to end a sentence with「。。。が欲しがります」? Also, if you, for example, wanted to say that someone wants to want something, would「[誰か]は[何か]が欲しがりたいです」work?

1 Answer 1


Yes, it can conjugate just like a normal godan verb.

  • 欲しがらない
  • 欲しがります (-ません, -ました, ...)
  • 欲しがれば
  • 欲しがれ
  • 欲しがろう
    (This is rare as the "let's want" sense, but can be used as part of the (よ)うと/(よ)うが construction, e.g., 欲しがろうが欲しがるまいが与えられる "is given regardless of whether one wants it or not")

But it has many semantic restrictions, so please read this before using them.

When do you ever say "I want to want it" in English in the first place? 欲しがりたい may be usable in a very limited context where the way you show your desire to someone is important, but it's probably best to forget something tricky like this until you reach the near-native level.

  • 1
    Well, actually, in English, it is fairly common to say that one "want[s] to want" something. It's similar to saying that one "want[s] to like" something. It just means that one hopes that one's preferences will change. For example, if one wants to have a healthier diet, then in order to make the process easier, one would "want to want" certain foods that are nutritious but don't have as rich or potent of a taste as the unhealthy ones. Jan 14, 2021 at 7:11
  • @DeityofAutomation Oh, is that so? ○○を好きになりたい is a common phrase for that meaning. Note that you cannot use 欲しい in the sense of "to want to do something" in the first place.
    – naruto
    Jan 14, 2021 at 7:13
  • Oh, I know. I appreciate the tip though. In the English version, as I understand it, we are describing the psychological state of "wanting" itself. If I want to describe what someone else wants (technically, "shows signs of wanting"), I was told that I had to use「がる」、so「がりたい」only made sense. Can I correctly use「好きになりたい」for others also? Jan 14, 2021 at 7:20
  • 1
    Absolutely. Thank you. 理解いたしました。 Jan 14, 2021 at 7:47
  • 2
    I wouldn't say 'want to want' is a common English phrase myself. I would understand it, but I'd never heard it before today, and if I were to express the snetiment I'd probably say 'I wish I wanted ~'
    – Angelos
    Jan 14, 2021 at 8:44

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .