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 a free PDF for this lesson here, or if you want to study with our TalkToMeInKorean textbooks, you can get them here. And after you learn the basics, try writing your own Korean sentences and get corrections from native speakers through HaruKorean, our 1:1 correction service.

  • Serenity Maria


  • faiza

    한국을 가고 싶어요

    진짜 ㅇㅇㅇㅇ 어떠게?

  • faiza

    ook i’ll try to relax and don’t wait and live right now

  • Sadie

    I noticed that in these lessons, there is -yo at the end of a lot of words like eopseo-yo and isseo-yo, in this it it bogo si-peo-yo. In the kpop songs where I’ve these phrases there is no -yo, though. Why is this? Is it covered later on?

    • KyungHwa Sun

      Yes. It will be covered later on. ;-) You can drop -요 if you want to make it sound casual.

  • VoldiPhil

    Hey guys, I really loved this lesson, it was very helpful! :) But I have a question. I addition to your audio lessons I’m learning with a korean for beginners book. And there, for I want to, is teached: 고싶습니다 . So 고싶 stays the same but 습니다 obviously is different. Am I right about saying, that this one here is just a more formal way to say “I want to” or do the differences go deeper?

    • Seokjin Jin

      I think you are confused between -고 싶어요 and -고 싶습니다.

      -고 싶습니다 is the dictionary form of -고 싶습니다 and it becomes -고 싶어요 when it is conjugated to present form. You can use both in the conversation and they are formal expressions.

    • VoldiPhil

      Thank you very much for the quick reply! It helped me, but at the same raised some new question(I hope I’m not annoying anybody with them :P) :

      So since 고 싶습니다 is the dictionary form, it is an unconjugated form, right? So why is it possible to use it in conversation? Sure, we know since lesson 1 that you can do it: 감사합니다

      Also, is 고 싶습니다 really the dictionary form? I thought 싶습니다 was the counjugated form of 싶다

      Sorry, I’m kind of confused about this topic right now. :P

    • Seokjin Jin

      I am sorry. You are right. The dictionary form of -고 싶어요 is -고 싶다. When I say it in formal way, it becomes -고 싶습니다. -고 싶습니다, -고 싶어요 both are often used but -고 싶습니다’s nuance is more formal. We often say something in dictionary form in conversation, too. When they may sound more strict and formal than the conjugated expressions.

  • Matt

    When you say you want more of something “더” is placed before the verb and it also appears to be placed in front of the noun (according to an online translator). However the translator (Google) also consistently put the word “많은” (many+particle). When saying you want more of something do you have to put the “많은” as well – like a counter?

    Is the following sentence fine?
    더 한국어 배우고 싶어요. = I want to learn more Korean.

    OR would it be more correct to say this?
    더 많은 한국어 배우고 싶어요. = I want to learn (many) more Korean.

    감사합니다 for the lesson!

    • Seokjin Jin

      It is good to put 더 in front of the verb but it is not naturally if you put it before the noun. 더 한국어 배우고 싶어요 is not correct.

      한국어 더 배우고 싶어요 is good.

      더 많은 한국어 배우고 싶어요. <- This one is also good!

  • 사라

    저는 한국말 잘 배우고 싶어요 :)

    • Seokjin Jin

      저희랑 같이 한국어 공부해요! :)

  • miy shen

    한국어를 공부하고 싶은데 어휘는 조금만.

    어떡해야 돼요?

  • Ivan

    나는 조선민주주의인민공화국에 가고 싶어요

    • KyungHwa Sun

      나는 –> 저는

  • Emily

    What if I want a noun? Do i just put the noun before 고싶어요?
    For example, how would you say “I want an apple”?
    Thanks for your help.

    • Seokjin Jin

      No, you can’t put a noun before -고 싶어요.
      You should put verb stem.

      I want an apple. >> 저는 사과를 원해요. (to want: -을/를 원하다)

  • Seth

    Just my opinion, I think that is rude to ask that to people without saying please~ I don’t want to be rude. And for the last lesson too. I’m sorry… I just feel like its rude

    • Blenda Camargo

      Yes, but there’s no equivalent for ‘please’ in korean, you can only say juseyo wich IS polite.
      No one will think you’re rude if you say juseyo.

    • William Emery

      Technically, Blenda, you are incorrect. Please is actually “jaebal” in Korean, my English keyboard will not allow me to type in Korean.

      Jusaeyo is merely a polite way to request something. “Jaebal” is more reserved for begging, if that is an appropriate term.

    • Seokjin Jin

      Thanks for your explanation! @williamemery:disqus

    • Lyri Patterson

      You could use Mianhae as well couldn’t you?

  • disqus_EJIVVr1ld7

    I have a question~ >< it's more related to the "make sentences negative" topic but I'm so confused! How do you say I don't want to study?
    안공부하고 싶어요?
    공부 안하고 싶어요?
    공부하고 안싶어요? Which one is correct?
    I know you can say 공부하고 싶지 않아요 but I'm confused :(
    And you say : 공부 안할 거예요 for the future right? Please someone reply me :( 감사합니다!

    • jake jeong

      공부 안하고 싶어요 is correct.

  • Soffy

    저는 한국에 여행을 한 번 하고싶어요

  • Carine

    What do you use 전 난

    • Seokjin Jin

      Just 전난 doesn’t have a meaning. I guess you meant 전 and 난, which normally mean I. According to the text, they have different meanings. Would you let me know where you heard the words?

    • Carine

      I heard the from some videos Ive been watching on YouTube to help me learn in addition to this. She said the combinations of 저 + 은/는 and 나 +은/는, I just wasn’t clear on when are used or if they are even used. It was called fluent korean

    • Seokjin Jin

      전 and 난 are the shortened form of 저는 and 나는.

      They are often used in daily dialogues.

      For example)
      저는 점심을 먹을 거예요. > 전 점심을 먹을 거예요.

      나는 배불러. > 난 배불러.

  • Mari

    How do you say “I want to go on a holiday” in Korean? I know you have to fix 가고싶어 though

  • smallfry

    개임 하고 싶어요

    • Seokjin Jin

      개임 하고 싶어요 > 게임하고 싶어요.

  • yumin

    Should there be a space between 보고 and 싶어요? Does it make any difference or are 보고싶어요 and 보고 싶어요 the same?

  • Audrey

    저는 한국에 가고 싶어요! 한국어 공부하고 싶어요. 곤부하는 걸 재미있어요.

    • Seokjin Jin

      곤부하는 걸 재미있어요. > 공부하는 게 재미있어요.

  • Lupinn Romeoo

    If I will say that I would like to be an exchange student how I can say in Korean.Can I say 저는 교환학생 있고 싶어요. ?

  • Alejandra González

    안녕하세요 TTMIK Team!
    Is it correct?
    뭐가 먹고 싶어요?
    비빔밥이 먹고싶어요

    (btw, from all the Korean dishes, I really want to eat 비빔밥… someday I know! ㅠㅠ)

  • Metzli


    I’m pretty sure this has been asked before, but if I want to say that I want to eat more of something… let’s say, 회 for example, how do I say I want to eat more 회?

    is it 회 더 먹고 싶어요
    or 더 회 먹고 싶어요

    Also, how would I say “give me more 회 please?