Want In Korean ~고 싶어요

/ / Want In Korean ~고 싶어요
want in Korean

In this lesson, you will learn how to say ‘want’ in Korean. Learning how to say ‘want’ in Korean is very useful and can be used in many situations. For example, imagine you were planning on eating lunch with your friends. You might want to ask “What do you want to eat?” or you may want to tell them “I want to eat bibimbap“.

Want In Korean: ~고 싶어요

To say ‘want’ in Korean, you must attach the ending ~고 싶어요 [~go si-peo-yo] to an action verb to indicate that you want to do that action. For example, if you want to say ‘I want to eat’ in Korean you simply attach ~고 싶어요 to the verb 먹다 (to eat) to make 먹고 싶어요 (I want to eat.).

~고 싶어요 comes from ~고 싶다 (to want to). When it is conjugated in the present tense, ~고 싶다 becomes ~고 싶어. Then, to make it polite, we add the polite ending ‘‘. So, ‘I want to…’ in Korean in the polite present tense is ~고 싶어요.

Here are some common Korean action verbs you can use with ~고 싶어요:

  • 하다 [ha-da] = to do
  • 가다 [ga-da] = to go
  • 먹다 [meok-da] = to eat
  • 보다 [bo-da] = to see/watch

To conjugate these verbs with ~고 싶어요, first you must take off, which leaves you with the basic verb stem. Then attach ~고 싶어요 to the verb stem. Let’s look at some examples:

  • 하고 싶어요. [ha-go si-peo-yo] = I want to do.
  • 가고 싶어요. [ga-go si-peo-yo] = I want to go.
  • 먹고 싶어요. [meok-go si-peo-yo] = I want to eat.
  • 보고 싶어요. [bo-go si-peo-yo] = I want to see/watch.

Now that you know how to conjugate action verbs with the ending ~고싶어요 you can easily make sentences using ‘want’ in Korean. Here are some example sentences:

EnglishKoreanListen
I want to eat chicken.치킨 먹고 싶어요.
I want to watch a movie.영화 보고 싶어요.
I want to study Korean.한국어 공부하고 싶어요.
I want to go now.지금 가고 싶어요.

What do you want to do? – 뭐 하고 싶어요?

In a previous lesson, you learned that ‘what’ in Korean is . Using what () plus want (~고 싶어요) you can easily make questions to ask somebody ‘What do you want to do?’ in Korean.

‘What do you want to do?’ in Korean is 뭐 하고 싶어요? This is made up of (what) plus 하다 (to do) plus ~고싶어요 (want). To make other questions, such as ‘What do you want to eat?’ / What do you want to watch?’, etc, simply replace the 하다 verb with a different verb. Here are some example questions with ‘want’ in Korean:

EnglishKoreanListen
What do you want to do?고 싶어요?
What do you want to eat?고 싶어요?
What do you want to watch?고 싶어요?
What do you want to buy?고 싶어요?

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