How NOT To Say “I want it” in Korean

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When learning a new language, it is both very natural and important to make a lot of mistakes along the way, and many of the mistakes come from direct translation attempts. From the lessons in the series How Not To Say It In Korean, you can learn about some of the most common mistakes among Korean learners and also how to say the same things more naturally and correctly.

In this lesson, you can learn how NOT to say “I want it” in Korean and learn a more correct and natural way to say it. To see all the lessons in this series, please [click here].

About this series : 

When learning a language, we all have experienced that moment when you said something with confidence because you’ve learned the expression or sentence from a book or dictionary, but your friends say it’s not how you say it. Now, don’t worry. In this video series “How NOT To Say…,” we tell you how to say the expressions or phrases you have learned, in the more natural way.


How NOT To Say “I want it” in Korean
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  • Wan Imran

    전 첫사람이요

  • irving

    i Knew it formt he start! … Guess i´m learning with TTMIK!! thank you guys 😀

  • kisaeng

    It would be so nice to also tell us where and/or when to use 원하다.

    • kisaeng

      sorry, the answer was in the pdf 🙂

    • Kendal

      Here’s what I got from the PDF:

      “원하다 is sometimes used in more ‘literary’ contexts, such as in advertisements, poems, song lyrics, etc.”
      ≈ You can’t use 원하다 unless you’re a writer. (Surely this isn’t so!)

      “Due to the influence of English and people’s increasing exposure to ‘literal-translation-style’ Korean sentences, 원하다 is being used more and more often.”
      Which is a mistake, and what this lesson aims to prevent—unnatural expressions that result from literal translation. This sentence doesn’t say when it’s OK to use 원하다; it explains why many people think it’s OK to use 원하다 when it isn’t.

      As for the examples of “natural” 원하다:

      “니가 진짜로 원하는 게 뭐야?”
      Is this natural because it’s part of a song, as opposed to a conversation? Or because there’s a 진짜로 in front of it? Surely not. It must have something to do with what that 게 represents.

      “원하는 거 없어요.”
      How is this natural while 아무것도 원해요 (“I want everything”) isn’t? Would 아무것이나 원해요 sound better? What’s the difference, really, between 원하는 거 없어요 and 갖고 싶은 거 없어요? If you replaced 것 in this “natural” sentence with 거피, 책, etc., would it become unnatural? If so, why?

      “원하는 대로 다 해 줬잖아요.”
      Now we’re getting somewhere. “I did everything *that you wanted me to do*”—i.e., an action. What I get from this example is that 원하다 sounds natural when its object is an action one takes, rather than a thing one possesses.

      Can anyone verify whether this is correct?

    • Kendal

      ^ 커피, not 거피. Unless the thing you want’s a fish.

  • Emily

    감사합니다! 레슨을 더 갗고싶어요. 나중에 “–더니” 문법을 가르쳐 해주세요!

  • Jessy

    …so ㅁㄱㄷ 갖다 and 가지다 the same thing? and is wrong to say 가지고싶어요?

    • Jessy

      oops! haha I meant this: …so are 갖다 and 가지다 the same thing? and is it wrong to say 가지고싶어요?

  • grace

    한국어 코미디언 갖고 싶어요!

  • Odette

    Does 갖다 and 있다 have the same nuanced meaning of “to have”? Could 있다 also be used to say, “I want it?”

    • SaralovesTae

      doesn’t ‘itda’ just mean this?

  • Jenmin

    아이스크림 갖고싶어요

    I have a feeling i said this wrong.

    Please correct me?

    “I want ice cream”

    • Jenmin

      OR is it “아이스크림 먹고 싶어요”
      “I want to eat ice cream”?

  • CyberMew

    Is it just me, or the PDF has missing pages? It seems to be cut off.

  • 세실리아

    소주 마시고 싶어요. 😀

  • anony

    와아아아아~고마워융^^ 나는 임백트 멤버들이 에게서 롤리팝 갖고싶어요ㅠㅠ

  • Franck

    Shouldn’t be 예쁜 신발을 갖고 싶어요/ 긴 다리를 갖고 싶어요 instead of 예쁜 신발이 갖고 싶어요/ 긴 다리가 갖고 싶어요 ? I know that you should say 니가 보고 싶어요 instead of 너를 보고 싶어요 although I do not understand why you use her the subject marker 이/가 instead of the object marker 을/를. This is really confusing.