がほしい (ga hoshii) Meaning Japanese Grammar - Want

Author Anna Baffa Volpe for article 'がほしい (ga hoshii) Meaning Japanese Grammar - Want'

Anna Baffa Volpe

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がほしい (ga hoshii) Meaning Japanese Grammar - Want

The expression がほしい (ga hoshii) means desire something, want something, wish for.

It is one of the expressions related to the verb to want something that is expressed by a noun.

()しい is used for the first person, if the desire is referred to other persons, we use the verb ()しがる.

In this post we learn more about the meaning of が()しい, how it is formed and when が()しい is used through real example sentences.

Desire something

()しい is used in the first person to express what the subject wants and desires and is joined exclusively to nouns.

In some cases this expression is also translated: need something.


I want another chance.

How がほしい is formed

This expression is characterised:



I want that guitar.

欲しい is used to translate want something, if we want to express want to do something we use the form in たい.


I want to watch a movie on weekends.

We used the suffix たい to express want to perform a certain action.


I want some clothes for my birthday present.

We want clothes!
(ふく): clothes


We want clothes!

The particle が after the noun is omitted, because the context is colloquial and informal.


How much do you need?

Negative form

The negative form is obtained with the negative of the い Adjective.


The usage of the negative forms in Japanese is particular and some expressions are very strong and direct and it is often preferred to work around other ways of speaking and expressing ourselves.



I don't want children.

As we can deduce, these are strong and resolute statements used depending on the situation and context.

  • From a Japanese picture book ()(ほん)
I want a big tree.
Transcription in Kanji: (おお)きな()()しい。


I want a big tree.

()しがる: what others want

が欲しい refers to the first person. If, on the other hand, the desire concerns other people, we use the verb ()しがる with the suffix がる.



My mother wants a new car.

Let's give them the food they want!
ほしがっている: they want


Let's give them the food they want!

Again, the context is informal and the particle をof the object たべものを is omitted and the verb ends in てる instead of ている.

Examples of が()しい


I want a dog.

As we have seen in the previous examples, the polite form is obtained by adding the copula です to the adjective ()しい.


Which do you want, a car or a house?


I want a break.

In this last example the translation of ()しい indicates the need, the necessity of the subject.