Grammar Info
N5 Lesson 7: 12/13

たい
Want to do

The object of desire can take either the を or が particle

Structure
Casual
Formal
Verb[ます+
Verb[ます+ くない
Verb[ます+ かった
Verb[ます+ くなかった
Verb[ます+ です
Verb[ます+ くないです(1)
Verb[ます+ かったです
Verb[ます+ くなかったです(2)

(1)くありません
(2)くありませんでした
Details
Part of Speech Auxiliary Verb
Word Type Dependent Word
Register Standard
品詞 助動詞
単語の種類 付属語
使用域 一般
Information
たい is an auxiliary verb that is used to express things that you would like to do (want). To use たい, it needs to be added to the same conjugation base form of a verb that ます would be attached to.
  • 今夜(こんや)ピザ食(た)べたい
    Tonight, I want to eat pizza.
  • プロ歌手(かしゅ)歌(うた)いたい
    I want to sing with a professional singer.
When using たい, the thing that is ‘wanted’ can either be marked with , or . The difference in nuance is that something marked with is considered to be wanted more. たい is conjugated in the same way as い-Adjectives, meaning that the negative, past, or past-negative forms may also be used.
  • 虫(むし)食(た)べたくない
    I don't want to eat insects.
  • 警察官(けいさつかん)なりたかった
    I wanted to become a police officer.
  • 昔(むかし)先生(せんせい)なりたくなかった
    In the past, I did not want to become a teacher.
たい is only used for expressing things that ‘you’ want, or repeating information/asking questions about what other people want. It may not be used to make guesses about what other people ‘may’ want, unless asking them directly.
  • 何(なに)食(た)べたい?
    What do you want to eat?
  • オレンジジュース飲(の)みたかった
    Did you want to drink orange juice?
Caution
たい is not used to tell other people that you want them to do something. This is done with ~てほしい.
  • あなたご飯(はん)作(つく)りたい
    As for you, I want to make dinner. (This can never mean ‘I want you to make dinner for me’, and is a fairly unnatural sentence)
Caution
たい is not usually used when giving invitations (asking someone if they want to do something with you). In these cases ~ませんか is far more natural.
  • アカネ行(い)きたい
    Akane, do you want to go too? (Sounds more like a question than an invitation)
Slow Male
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日本(にほん)行(い)きたい
I want to go to Japan.
Play  
来年(らいねん)日本(にほん)行(い)きたい
Next year, I want to go to Japan.
Play  
早(はや)く食(た)べたい
I want to eat soon.
Play  
Books
Genki I 2nd Edition
Page 254
みんなの日本語 I
Page 86 [CH 13]
Genki I
Page 214
Marugoto Elementary 1 (A2) Rikai
Page 96
[DBJG] A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar
Page 1 & 441
Tae Kim's Japanese Grammar Guide
Page 146