There's a pattern in korean, V고 싶다, which is used when expressing things like:

  1. 가족이 보고 싶어요 (I want to see my family)
  2. 딸기를 먹고 싶어요 (I want to eat strawberries)
  3. 침데에서 자고 싶어요 (I want to sleep in bed)

It seems like this pattern always requires a clause to be used. But I wonder if the followings are can be used to express "I want + NOUN":

  1. 돈을 원해요.
  2. 바나나 우유를 원해요.
  3. 운동을 원해요.

Are they correct or is there a known pattern for such sentences?

1 Answer 1


Your sentences are grammatically correct. However, native speakers tend to avoid expressions like yours and sometimes feel unnatural. Instead of using "원해요", I recommend that you specify a verb(V고 싶어요) corresponding to the object.

돈을 원해요. -> 돈을 갖고 싶어요.(I want to have money)
바나나 우유를 원해요. -> 바나나 우유를 먹고 싶어요.(I want to drink banana milk)
운동을 원해요. -> 운동하고 싶어요.(I want to work out).

There are a few reasons for this.

  1. The core meaning of "원해요" is "wish".
    Native speakers make a distinction between wants (from everyday needs) and wishes (maybe to God), and "원해요" comes close to expressing the latter. Therefore, "원해요" is a natural choice for example in sentences like these.

저는 평화를 원해요. = I want peace.
저는 당신의 사랑을 원해요. = I want your love.

  1. "원해요" has too many meanings to be clear.
    "원해요" has too many synonym. "소망하다"(wish), "기대하다"(expect), "희망하다"(hope) and so on. But, Korean is a verb/adjective-oriented language, and native speakers prefer to make that clear.

For the above reasons, the use of "-을 원해요" is often seen as an artifact of foreign language translation.

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