When 싶다 doesn't mean "I want to" in Korean - You might find this usage surprising!

When 싶다 doesn't mean "I want to" in Korean - You might find this usage surprising!

Most Korean learners are familiar with the expression 싶다. It means "I want to," and is a commonly used grammar point. But today we're going to discover a little-known but equally important usage of the word "싶다."You can use it to express doubt, wonder, and curiosity.

[If you know the Korean word 싶다, watch this video!]

The Basics of "싶다" as "I Want To":

Before we delve into the lesser-known usages of 싶다, let's briefly recap its primary function as "I want to do something." You add -고 싶어요 to the verb stem to express this. For example, "먹다" (to eat) becomes "먹고 싶어요" (I want to eat).The grammar point is covered in Level 1 of the Talk To Me In Korean curriculum and is considered relatively straightforward.

Study with this lesson in Level 1 Lesson 13

Extending Beyond "I Want To":

As you learn Korean, you'll discover that even seemingly familiar words and expressions have unexpected uses.The word 싶다 is no exception. Besides expressing "I want to," 싶다 can also be combined with self-talkquestions toconvey doubt, wonder, or uncertainty. In other words, you can use it to say things like "I wonder if..." or "I feel like..." or "I doubt that..." So, how does this work?

Combining Self-Talk Questions Ending with "싶다":

To use 싶다 in this context, add it after the end of self-talk questions. Self-talk questions are the questions you ask yourself in 혼잣말 (self-talk), either speaking to yourself or thinking out loud. Forinstance,

  • 이게 맞나? (Is this right?) becomes 이게 맞나 싶어요. (I wonder if this is right.)
  • 이게 될까? (Will this work?) becomes 이게 될까 싶어요. (I wonder if this will work.)
  • 어렵지 않을까? (Isn't it difficult?) becomes 어렵지 않을까 싶어요. (I feel like if it's difficult.)

Study with this lesson in Level 10 Lesson 28

The Benefits of a Systematic Curriculum:

To get the most out of Korean language learning, you need a systematic curriculum! Rather than learning bits and pieces here and there, a structured approach lets you connect everything together. This is why resources like the Talk To Me In Korean curriculum can be invaluable! We'll help you continue learning and discovering new aspects of the Korean language. Come and join us on our website!

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