원하다 vs 고싶다 (Full Explanation) | [Grammar of the Week]

안녕하세요!

So we already introduced this topic on Thursday. Hopefully it wasn’t too confusing. Believe it or not, this will actually be a lot shorter than you think. It’s not as difficult as it seems. Let’s break it down!

If you need a quick refresher, check out below!

Okay, so as you know on the basic grammar level, 원하다 simply expresses something that you want. But on a more intermediate level, it expresses something that you want to have. Not necessarily what you want to do.

Insert 고싶다 (gosipda). This always means “to want” but it expresses what you want to do. And not necessarily what you want to have.

Definitions:

원하다 (wonhada) | “to want; to hope for”

고싶다 (gosipda) | “to want to do”

So why do you need two different ways to say “I want” when 하다 already means, “to do”? Because one is “noun usage” and the other is “verb usage”.

  • 원하다 | “I want to have” (possession) {noun}
    • noun + ㄹ/을 원하다
    • 을 | object particle
  • 고싶다 | “I want to do” (action) {verb}
    • verb +고 싶다

So how do we understand how to use 원하다 in a sentence. But how do we use 고싶다?

i.e.,

  • 아침을 먹고 싶다. (achim-eul meoggo sipda.) | “I want to eat breakfast.”
  • 영화를보고 싶다. (yeonghwaleulbogo sipda.) | “I want to see a movie.”
  • 고 싶어. (bogo sipeo.) | “I want to see you.”/”I miss you.”

I added the last one because it’s a familiar word that you hear and see often. You’ll be surprised how often you actually hear this usage and how often you may actually use it.

That’s all for today. We’re going to be looking at this all week!

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