Expressing Wants using 싶어 (Shipo)

This is one of the most useful words in Korean.  싶어 is an auxilliary verb in the infinitive form, the base is 싶.  When used it is usually follows this pattern base form of a processive verb with -고 (go) attached to it and then  싶어 (shipo).  In formula its like:

base form of verb+고<space> 싶어

A classic example is 보 (bo) which means ‘see’ it’s commonly used with 싶어.  This phrase 보고 싶어 (bogo shipo) means want to see, it likewise means I miss you.  You might be wondering where is ‘you’ in that phrase, as you know in Korean subject in a sentence can actually be dropped such that 보고 싶어  is already an intimate way of saying I want to see you or I miss you.  Add 요 (yo) then the statement becomes in  polite form, 보고 싶어요 (bogo shipoyo) that is.  

  • 살고 싶어 (salko shipo means want to live or wish to leave)
  • 하고 싶어 (hago shipo mean want to do or wish to do in this case the verbal noun or noun marked by particle 를/을 should preceed 하고 )

싶어 is used in a sentence to express 1st person (I/we want) wants, desires or wishes and can not be used to express want or desires of another person.  It  can be used in though 2nd person (do you want..) questions. 

To use this auxilliary verb for 3rd person statements or questions (he,she, they, it) the pattern should be <base form of processive verb>+고 then followed by 싶어요.  Instead of 싶어, the verb takes the form 싶어하.

Always remember descriptive verb cannot be directly attached to 고. As discussed previouslt descriptive verb are those that are non-separable.  By saying non-separable, it means the verb cannot be transformed to pattern verb+object particle 을/를 followed by 해요 (haeyo is the versitile processive verb which means does or performs something). Most importantly this is used to express ONE’s wish or desire.

I’ll be posting more on this auxilliary verb…


One Reply to “Expressing Wants using 싶어 (Shipo)”

  1. Hello! I would like to point out that you might want to fix the “leave” in the following sentence: “살고 싶어 (salko shipo means want to live or wish to leave)”. I am a new learner and it made me feel quite confused. Otherwise, amazingly helpful lesson! Thank you!

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