Basic Japanese grammar lesson: Using ~たい ~tai–to want to…

  • Adding ~tai adds the “want to” meaning.
  • This is formed by finding the ~masu form and adding ~tai.
  • For example:
    To eat → to want to eat:
    食べる → 食べます → 食べ+たい → 食べたい
    taberu → tabemasu → tabe+tai  →  tabetaiTo Drink → to want to drink:
    飲む → 飲みます → 飲み+たい → 飲みたい
    nomu → nomimasu → nomi+tai  → nomitai


nanika nomitai desu.
I want to drink something.

なにか nanika–something
飲みたい nomitai–want to drink [This is formed with the ~masu form of 飲む nomu–to drink + たい tai–(want to…)] です desu–copula (usually like to be)

Next, let’s turn this into a question.

Notice in the above example, we didn’t use a pronoun. The “I” was understood. In this next example, we still won’t use a pronoun, but by adding the question marker か ka, the “you” is implied.


nanika tabetai desu ka.
Do you want to eat something?

なにか nanika–something
食べたい tabetai–want to eat [This is formed with the ~masu form of 食べる taberu–to eat + たい tai–(want to…)] です desu–copula (usually like to be)

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