Level 1 Lesson 13 / I want to … / -고 싶어요

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안녕하세요! In this TTMIK lesson, let’s look at how to say “I want to”!!! It’s very important to know how to say this when you start learning a foreign language because you need to express what you want in order to get what you want. Using this expression, you will be able to say what you want to eat, what you want to see, or where you want to go. Now listen in to find out how to use this expression, and while you do, be sure to check out the free PDF lesson notes as well! 감사합니다.

You can download both the PDF lesson notes and the MP3 audio track for this lesson below, and if you want to learn with our various textbooks and workbooks, you can get them on our online bookstore at MyKoreanStore.com. If you have any questions about this lesson, please leave us comments below!

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  • Damien Ó Foghlú

    I have a question about 보고 싶어요. Can it be used for things as well as people? For instances, as I understand it, “James 보고 싶어요” would mean “I miss James” or “I want to see James”. However, in English if you miss a thing you can’t really say you want to see that thing, as you can with people. Say I’m on a diet. Can I say “버거 보고 싶어요” to mean I miss eating burgers, or would it just mean I want to look at a burger?

    • JooyeonPark

      No, we also don’t say it for things. “버거 보고 싶어요.” just means I want to look at a burger. You should say “버거 먹고 싶어요.”

  • Marshmallow

    저는 오늘 일찍 자고 싶어요.

    • JooyeonPark


  • tim

    So, does the english phrase “I want food” not exist in korean? Do we just say Meok-go-sipeoyo to say we want food instead?

    • JooyeonPark

      It does exit and it can be translated to “저는 음식을 원해요”. It makes perfect sense but it’s just not so natural and people don’t say that a lot.

    • dannyR

      It’s not natural in English either. It’s grammatical, and meaningful, yes; but not something one would say by itself. It would be more like:
      “I wanna eat something.”
      “I wanna get something to eat.”
      “Waiter, I’ve been waiting for an hour. I want food.” (Anger)
      “No, I don’t want pickled bean sprouts; I want food.” (sarcastic emphasis)

  • Connie

    오늘 신 더 읽고 싶어요.
    Did I got it right?

  • Jake

    I understand you can say, ‘I want to eat more’ but would you be able to say, ‘Please give me more to eat?’ In korean I am guessing it would be said like this, 더 먹고 주세요?

  • Peri Martins

    If someone ask me “뭐 먹고 싶어요?” is it correct if I answer “햄버거이 먹고 싶어요” to say that i really want hamburger and nothing else will satisfy me?

  • ssmith1212

    (i want to learn korean?) please correct me if i am wrong!

    • JooyeonPark

      You can say 한국어 배우고 싶어요.

  • Rena

    안녕하세요! I have a question.
    If I want to say ” Please give me more pizza” is it “피자 더 주세요”?

  • Suga Swag

    A : 먹고 싶어요? (Do you want to eat?)
    B : 아니요. (No.)
    A : 왜요? (Why?)
    B : 배 안 고파요. (I’m not hungry.)


    • JooyeonPark

      Great! 🙂

  • Maria

    정말 자고 시퍼요 -> I really wanna sleep

    • Kenny Lau

      싶어요 not 시퍼요.

  • 팟빙수 막고 싶어요… i have never tried it. 팟빙수 주세요!! ㅠㅠ

  • A: 뭐 먹고 싶어요? (What do you want to eat?)
    B: 김치 먹고 싶어요. (I want to eat kimchi.)
    A. 김치 잆어요. (I don’t have kimchi.)
    B. 아… 피자 있어요? (Oh… do you have pizza?)
    A. 네, 피자 있어요. (Yes, I have pizza.)
    B. 피자 주세요.~ 감사합니다! (Please give me pizza.~ Thank you!)

    Is this a good little conversation? ^^

    • Kenny Lau

      The waiter would be talking to you in very formal language but other than that 진짜 괜찮아요.

  • 데빈

    뭐 하고 싶어요? (What do you want to do?)

    친구 놀고 싶어요. (I want to hang out with friends.)

    랑누구?(With who?)

    안 알다. (I dont know x________x)

    • Kenny Lau

      “with” is 랑/이랑 but attached after the noun.

      you need to conjugate 알다.

      뭐 하고 싶어요?
      친구랑 놀고 싶어요.
      안 알아요.

  • dana

    how to say ” i just wanna look at you” in hangul and romanized

    • Kenny Lau

      너만 바라보고 싶어 (very informal)
      neoman barabogo sipeo

  • Lulu

    is this correct
    불거기 머거씨버여
    i want to eat bulgogi

    • Jiya

      I think its 먹어싶어요 instead of 머거씨버여~

    • Chris 크리스 Nguyen

      Close. It’s 먹고싶어요 not 먹어싶어요. You add -고싶어요 to the end of verbs! Happy learning.

    • Seokjin Jin

      You need to add a spacing after 먹고.

      먹고 싶어요 is correct. 🙂

    • Declan Mayer

      불고기 먹고 싶어요

    • chris

      the way you wrote it is wrong but that’s all
      it’s written: 불고기 먹고 싶어요

  • Matt Villanobos

    한국어 공부하고 싶어요
    I want to study Korean.

    • Kenny Lau

      한국어 공부하고 있는데
      But you are already studying Korean.

  • Hanh

    Hi, I have a question. What is the difference between 보고 싶어요 and 보고싶은데? thank you 🙂

    • Kenny Lau

      This is a nice question.

      The latter literally means “but I want to see you” whereas the former literally means “I want to see you”.

      The little word “but” there emphasizes that it is my wish. It is a collocation that you cannot deduce from the literal meaning.

      Many meanings are lost in translation, so I have no idea how to properly translate the latter.

  • ssmith1212

    1.한국어 배우고 싶어요

    2.콜라 마시고 싶어요

    3.고등학교 졸업하고 싶어요

    4.20,000원 빌리고 싶어요

    5.사랑에 빠지고 싶어요

    6.비밀 백하고 싶어요

    7.GOT7 마나고 싶어요(ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ)

    8.콜배트함 운전하고 싶어요

    Please correct me if im wrong! Thank you.

  • Semitic akuma


  • Princess Sarah

    If I say I want to drink a specific thing such as water do I put the water before of after the phrase I want to?

    – 물 마시고 싶어요
    – 마시고 싶어요 물

    • Thy

      Hi fellow topp klass. Since korean is a subject-object-verb language, I think the correct is to have the object (what you want to drink) and then the verb (which is 마시다).
      So it’s 물 마시고 싶어요

    • Princess Sarah

      Thanks I thought so but I just wanted to make sure

  • Anne

    I love your lessons! You are great guys. Thank you!

    • Seokjin Jin

      Thanks so much for your comment! You are great, too!

  • Lauren Marino

    What about adding another verb? For example,저는 요리하 배우고 싶어요. Would that make sense?

    • Seokjin Jin

      “to cook” is “요리하다”, so it can be conjugated to “요리하고 싶어요”.
      “to learn how to cook” is “요리하는 것을 배우다”, so you can make it as “요리하는 것을 배우고 싶어요”.

    • Lauren Marino

      Oh so it’s actually a seperate verb on it’s own?

    • Kenny Lau

      네 맞아요. It is misleading to say that “고 싶어요” means to want where actually only 싶어요 means to want and the 고 is a grammatical particle to link two verbs together.

    • Lauren Marino

      Aah okay. Thank you so much for y’alls help!!

  • Kristina Fiedalan

    are these sentences correct? 🙂

    더 햄버거 먹고 싶어요 – i want to eat more hamburger
    가고 싶어요? – do you want to go?