-고 싶어요 ("want" vs. "would like")

popotla

Senior Member
British English
In English, "I want ......" (as expressed in Korean by -고 싶어요) is of course sometimes appropriate but can be too direct and (therefore) less than polite.

How, then, does one convey the meaning of "I would like to ask a question / to see (in a shop) a ..... / to have a room with a double bed" etc. etc.? Or to say "I'd like a coffee" (an alternative to "..... 주세요)?
 
  • boomluck

    Senior Member
    Korean
    How about "May/Can/Could I ... ?" - 할 수 있을까요?

    May I ask a question? 질문 할 수 있을까요?
    May I see a product? 물건을 볼 수 있을까요?
    May I have a room? 방을 가질(예약할) 수 있을까요?
     

    popotla

    Senior Member
    British English
    Thanks. I'd been using -수 있다 to express ability, but now I see it's also used in the ways you've shown.

    How about, then, "I'd like to go on holiday to/visit ......."

    and "I'd like a coffee"? These are different usages of "I'd like".

    Thanks by the way for your reply to my earlier question about different grammatical versions on different sites.
     

    boomluck

    Senior Member
    Korean
    "I'd like to go on holiday to/visit ......."
    휴가 가고 싶어요. I want to ... (casual, but okay)
    휴가를 사용하고 싶습니다. I’d like to ... (more than casual, polite)
    휴가를 쓸 수 있을까요? May I ... (polite and humble)

    In my opinion, if someone is asking for what he wants do, those three expressions above may be used all the time, with the degree of politeness as written in the parentheses.

    I think both “I’d like to(- 하고 싶습니다)” and “may I(- 할 수 있을까요)” are considered as polite. “May I,” however, is more humble expression in the way that he is asking for a permission to use his own holiday.

    "I'd like a coffee"
    If someone is asking for a thing, as in “I’d like a coffee”, he may say “부탁합니다.”

    커피요. (casual)
    커피 주세요. (more than casual, slightly polite)
    커피 부탁합니다. (polite, 커피 부탁드립니다 is also okay to be more polite)
    커피 주시겠습니까? (polite, the same as “may I” in the degree of politeness)

    *Opinion based* :)
     

    CharlesLee

    Member
    Korean
    Korean has got 7 styles of writing or speaking form.

    The degree of politeness is likely to be 해라체 < 해체 < 하게체 < 하오체 < 해요체 < 하십시오체.

    커피주라 < 커피줘 < 커피주게(나) < 커피주소(서) < 커피주세요 < 커피주십시오.

    '-하고 싶어요' belongs to '해요체'. If you want to speak politer '-하고 싶습니.'

    I would like to ask a question / to see (in a shop) a ..... / to have a room with a double bed" etc. etc.? Or to say

    "I'd like a coffee" (an alternative to "..... 주세요)?

    In the interrogative sentence in Korean, the politest form is ' -까?'

    Do you have a room with a double bed at the moment? = 지금 더블베드 방이 있습니까? The politest form in the

    question form. However, people tend to think it's too polite to say like that because some feel as if there's

    a distant between. So it's speaker's preference or style.

    I'd like a coffee. = 커피로 주십시오. but too humble so 커피로 주세요 is spoken the most.

    I'd like a coffee. = 커피 부탁드립니다. but too polite then, 커피 부탁해요.

    When there's a big age gap in you and them, then you could speak the politest form.

    And it works and never fail. Hope it would be useful and helpful for you.
     
    Last edited:

    MOJO_JOJO

    Member
    Korean - Korea
    I know “want” sounds a little direct and you guys somtimes avoid using it. But though in many ways “하고 싶다” is the same as “want”, it can be used formally as well.

    “I’d like to ask a question” in Korean can be 저 질문 하나 드리고 싶은데요.
     

    valench

    New Member
    Korean
    hmm it's a different language so you should not translate the phrase word by word.

    In Korean, want = 하고 싶다 can be used for both formal and informal situation.

    1. I would like to ask a question 질문 좀 드리고 싶어요.
    2. to see (in a shop) a ..... ...를 보려고/사려고 해요.
    3. to have a room with a double bed" etc. etc.? 더블룸 예약하고 싶어요 you can say like that no grammar error, but it sounds not very natural it's better to say 더블룸 예약하려고 해요. or 더블룸 있나요? (Is there a room available with a double bed?)
    4. "I'd like a coffee" 커피 주세요. I think this one needs a context for a better translation.

    Hope this helps.
     
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