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.

  • 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?