While trying to understand a Korean lyric, i was faced with this strange case, were the desire expression "고싶어" is preceded by 2 verbs, ex :

말해 고싶어
불러 고싶어

So i want to see what exactly ?

Thank you for your attention.

1 Answer 1


In English, there's an expression 'see if you can do something', which means that you're going to try to do it.

The expression *어/아 보다' in Korean is similar - it means to try to do something.

So 어/아 보고싶다 is to want to try to do something.

말해 보고싶어 - I want to try and say it / I want to try to tell (something to someone).
나 불러 보고싶어 - I want to try calling.

  • Thank you, but is there any grammatical form for this. Commented Jan 28, 2018 at 15:41
  • 1
    @habibhassani from your question, it seems that you already know that the grammatical form -고싶다 means 'want', and in my answer I've said that -어/아 보다 is a grammatical form meaning 'to try'. Korean Grammar for International Leaners calls it a 시도의 보조용인 - an exploratory auxiliary verb. I think those are the only grammatical forms common to both your example sentences. Commented Jan 28, 2018 at 21:14

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