The Japanese Tai(たい) Form: In today’s online Japanese lesson, we are going to be looking at the Tai たい form in Japanese. The Tai form(たい) lets you express what you want and what you don’t want in Japanese. This is really useful to know as expressing what you want and don’t want can really open up a lot of opportunities when it comes to your Japanese communication skill and what you can do with it.

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Overview :The Japanese Tai(たい) Form

Communication requires different sentence patterns and combinations to properly express yourself. If you are someone who is very interested in learning Japanese or maybe even going to Japan, you would probably want to say “I want to go to Japan”, or “I want to study Japanese” in Japanese.

For this blog, we will mainly focus on being able to express the sentence “want to..” or expressing the desire to do something in Japanese and while we are on the subject, we’ll talk about the sentence pattern for “don’t/doesn’t want to…”. Just to make it less confusing for you, we’ll discuss the difference between “Tai たい” & “Hoshii ほしい” as well. It’s not as difficult as it seems so strap up and get ready to learn!

The Japanese Tai(たい) Form: Expressing what you want and don’t want

Want to order in a restaurant? no problem.  Want to tell someone you are thirsty? No problem? Want to tell your mom you don’t want to do the dishes, NO PROBLEM! Sit back and relax because we WANT you to learn this really cool Tai(たい) form in Japanese.

How to Create the Tai(たい) form

So how exactly do we create the Tai form? Thankfully it is extremely simple. All you have to do is take a verb in masu form, remove the “masu” and add “tai”. It really is as simple as that. You don’t have to worry about different very groups or anything either.

The Tai form is only used in verbs and this specific form can’t be used on adjectives or nouns.

Let’s take a look at a quick example

To eat (Plain form) たべるーTo eat (Masu form)たべますーWant to eat (Tai form) たべたい

As you can see here, all that has been done is that the “Masu” has been removed and “Tai” put into it’s place. 

Take a look at the table below to see a whole host of verbs turned into the Tai(たい) form.

To Writeかきますかきたい
To Cookりょうりしますりょうりしたい
To Apologiseあやまりますあやまりたい
To Runはしりますはしりたい
To Sendおくりますおくりたい
To Laughわらいますわらいたい
To Danceおどりますおどりたい
To Readよみますよみたい

Tai(たい) form – past, negative and past negative

So now you know the plain form, let’s have a look at making the past, negative and past negative forms for the tai(たい) form.

Negative: ~たくないです
Remove い and add くない
To study べんきょうします Don’t want to studyべんきょうしたくない
Past:    ~たかったです
Remove い and add かったです
To study べんきょうします Wanted to studyべんきょうしたかったです
Past Negative: ~たくなかったです
Remove い and add くなかったです
To study べんきょうします Didn’t want to study べんきょうしたくなかったです

You can also add です to the end of a sentence much like with adjectives to make the sentence more polite.

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Tai(たい) form sentence examples

So now we’ve learnt how to construct the Tai(たい) form, let’s now look at how we can use some of the verbs in sentences to bring it full circle. Remember that the more times you actually use and experiment with things you have just learnt, the faster you will learn and retain the use of the new information. This will result in being able to call upon the Tai form or anything you have just learnt a lot quicker and allow you to utilize it smoothly in a conversation.

We are going to look at some really basic sentences now but feel free to go ahead and create some more complex ones of your own with the verbs you know. Try also to work in some adverbs and adjectives.

I want to read a book
I want to listen to music
I want to study Japanese
I want to return home

-たい and its usage: “want to (do)”

As what we mentioned above, we will mainly be discussing how to express your desire to do an action. It’s quite easy to learn, especially if you’re someone who’s already quite familiar with the basics. It all starts with looking at the “-masu” form of verbs. All you have to do is to omit the “-masu” in a verb and attach “-tai” instead. Let’s look at the example below to have a better understanding of the process.

たべます(tabemasu: to eat) ➔  たべます (tabemasu)➔  たべ(tabe)+たい(tai) = たべたい (tabetai: want to eat)

Very easy, right? The -tai conjugation itself is almost similar to the “-masu” form.  The example above is the informal way to say it. In the case that you would like to say the phrase formally, you just need to attach “-desu” right after the -tai. 

たべたい (tabetai: want to eat – informal) + です(desu) = たべたいです (tabetaidesu: want to eat – formal)

Below are a few more examples just so you have a better idea of how to use the phrase properly!

EnglishVerb masu formTai formSentence example
Want to goいきますikimasuいきたいikitaiにほんにいきたいです。Nihon ni ikitai desu.I want to go to Japan. (formal)
Want to sleepねますnemasuねたいnetaiねたいねたいです。Netaidesu.I want to sleep. (formal)
Want to drinkのみますnomimasuのみたいnomitaiオレンジジュースをのみたい。Orenji jyusu wo nomitai.I want to drink orange juice. (informal)
Want to watchみますmimasuみたいmitaiあしたえいがをみたい。Ashita eiga wo mitai. (informal)

-たくない and its usage: “don’t/doesn’t want to (do)”

For expressing your lack of desire to do something, it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3 as long as you have the basics down! When you have mastered the use of “-tai”, you simply have to omit the i in “-tai” and replace it with “-kunai” which is a negative expression. This in turn makes your sentence express the action of not wanting to do something. Let’s look at the example below.

たべたい(tabetai: want to eat) ➔  たべた (tabetai)➔  たべた(tabeta)+たくない(kunai) = たべたくない (tabetakunai: don’t want to eat)

As what you’ve guessed, the example above is in the informal form. To make it sound more formal and respectful, you simply need to add “-desu” right after -tai.

たべたくない (tabetakunai: don’t want to eat – informal) + です(desu) = たべたくないです (tabetakunaidesu: don’t want to eat – formal)

You can find more sentence examples below.

EnglishVerb masu formTai(たい) formSentence example
Don’t want to rideのりますnorimasuのりたくないnoritakunaiタクシーをのりたくないです。Takushi wo noritakunaidesu.I don’t want to ride a taxi. (formal)
Don’t want to meetあいますaimasuあいたくないaitakunaiかのじょをあいたくないです。Kanojo wo aitakunaidesu.I don’t want to meet her. (formal)
Don’t want to playあそびますasobimasuあそびたくないasobitakunaiかれとあそびたくない。Kare to asobitakunai.I don’t want to play with him. (informal)
Don’t want to buyみますkaimasuかいたくないkaitakunai新しいノートをかいたくない。Atarashii no-to wo kaitakunai.I don’t want to buy a new notebook. (informal)

Past tenses

Of course, every conjugation has its present tense and past tense. This goes the same for -tai. Please look at the table below to have a better idea of how to do it, because it’s as easy as pie! Just omit the “-masu” of a verb and replace it with the conjugation that applies to what you would like to express.

Present tensePast tense

Nope, they aren’t the same: “たい” versus “ほしい”

This might seem confusing because both of these express desire. The big and the only difference is how “-tai” is used with actions or verbs, while “hoshii” is mainly used for nouns. In other words, “-tai” is used to express the want to do an action, while “hoshii” is used to express the want or desire for something. Please look at the examples below to give you a better idea of what we’re talking about.

It’s okay,あたらしいカメラをかいたい。
Atarashii kamera wo kaitai.
I want to buy a new camera.
Atarashii kamera ga hoshii.
I want a new camera.

Again, easy right? Hopefully this short guide has helped you in some way express yourself better in Japanese and don’t forget, practice makes perfect!


So there we have it. You should now have a basic understanding of the Tai form and how to use it. But, as mentioned earlier, you need to ensure you practice it and learn to integrate it with your current conversation and other Japanese study practices for it to really stick and become effective for you. 

Japanese Verb: Tagaru 〜たがる Expressing what other people want in Japanese.

We are going to be looking at using “Tagaru” to express other people’s desires and wants in Japanese. We will first start by looking at how the form is created, followed by some example sentences and then finally an effective study tip to really help you remember those.

What Is “Tagaru” たがる and when is it used?

Tagaru expresses someone else’s desires, that you pick up on and assume through their behaviour. It’s not something they usually say, but perhaps, through their behaviour it looks like they are wanting to do.

For example if you are out with a friend and they look sleepy and their eyes are closing you could use it perfectly in that situation. “They look like they want to go home” “They look like they want to go to bed”. All of this can be assumed by their behaviour in a specific situation.

Originally,がる (garu), means that someone “appears to be~”. So, you can see from this how it would express the sense of appearing to act / be a certain way.

If you wanted to say something directly like “I want” you should use the たい form.

We are going to look now at using “tagaru” with other verbs to kick start today’s grammar point usage.

How to form “Tagaru” たがるverbs

To create a tagaru たがる verb all you need to do is turn it into the たい form and then remove the い and add がる. Take a look at some more conjugations in the table below.


Also, たがる”tagaru” verbs can be conjugated like any other verb from group one.

Garu がる,  Gatteiru がっている, Gatta がった, Garanai がらない etc

Try and create some of your own examples conjugating たい for verbs into たがる, this will help you become quicker and more efficient. Now we are going to build some example sentences to help you get to grips with the usage.

Example sentences with “Tagaru” たがる

 We are now going to look at some examples. Before each sentence we will explain the situation so you have a better understanding of the contest as well. This way you will be able to gain a deeper understanding on the types of situations you could mirror for yourself.

By the way your friend has been acting, buying plane tickets, watching videos about America etc. you would be quite safe in assuming that they want to go there. In this situation you can say:

Kare wa amerika ni ikitagatteiru
He wants to go to America.

Imagine you see a kid who looks super bored at the mall. From this you could deduct that he wants to go home. In this situation you can say:

sono ko ga ie ni kaeri tagatteiru.
That kid looks like he wants to go home.

If you’re the parent of a chill that plays too much video games and doesn’t seem to want to venture outside, this is the perfect time to use:

musuko ga soto ni iki tagaranai.
My son is reluctant to go outside.

Repeat these sentences over and over again until you can remember the pattern. From now on, once you have remembered these to heart you will be able to recall and use the pattern more efficiently. We are now going to look at an effective study tip to help you create sentences, get your notebook ready! 

Example study tip for “Tagaru” たがる

The key to really mastering the use of Tagaru” たがる is understanding context. We want you to imagine 5 types of situations where someone’s actions represent the actions they are wanting to do from that.

Try and think of 5 situations and then do your pest to translate that into Japanese. Doing this will get you used to situational use and you should be able to use it more proficiently. Repetition is key with his so make sure you keep working on it and we know you will definitely achieve mastery of the grammar point.

Thanks for reading today’s online Japanese lesson everyone, we have had loads of fun talking about たがる and we really hope that you have gotten a lot from it. If you have any questions at all, or other ideas for new Japanese topics, please get in touch and let us know as we would love to hear your ideas. Have a great day everyone. またね.

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