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3.5 Verbs for the word want



In lesson 3.5 
Peter möchte länger im Urlaub sein -> Peter wants to be on holidays for longer. 

Previously möchte has been used for would like. I would like to know why either wollen or will are not used for the verb want.

David K

David K

Guten Tag errant-italian-knight,

One of my German teachers told me that Germans like to be polite and are therefore sensitive to the potentially demanding interpretation of "I want" implied by "Ich  will."  It can sound like an order, not a request.

Imagine beckoning your waiter and barking "I want the pasta!"  One can easily imagine the sentence continuing to "and I want it now, so get off your butt and get moving." 

By using "would like" which I believe might be in the subjunctive case, we are indicating a greater level of respect and discretion as in "I would like the pasta, please," where we are implying  that the rest of the sentence might continue "if you don't mind, and if this is your table," or "If you would be so kind, and decide you want to, I would be greatly appreciative if you would bring me a pasta."  

I suppose technically one could use the all out subjunctive "Ich würde gerne ... " but I've never seen that. 

I've frequently seen "Ich will .... " used for "I want ... "  when it is not being used to ask someone do something for you.  "I want to win the lottery."   Or if one is driving around with a friend and you suddenly get the munchies, you could say, "I want Pizza, "  using "Ich will ... "  because you are  not asking your friend to bring it to you, but rather announcing a desire that the two of you might decide after discussion to mutually act on.  Or to say " I want to see the Rammstein concernt."

Maybe one of our experts will confirm this.   As a fellow student I only responded because you question is two months old and it seems like a good excuse to say hello again. 

Wie geht's?



Nice explanation.  There are a number of places where the translators aren't very careful or precise with their translations which certainly makes it harder for us beginners.


Thanks guys,
I found out from my German friend. 

In this case "Peter will länger im Urlaub sein" is acceptable because of the perspective. Saying it this way would imply, Peter definitely wants to be on holidays for longer. 

By saying "Peter möchte länger im Urlaub sein" is a vague way of saying the same thing as it becomes Peter would like to be on holidays for longer.



I can understand being polite. But I'm a student and when I'm asked to translate "Peter wants to be on holidays longer", I'll use "will".  If asked to translate "Peter would like to be on holiday longer", I'll use "möchte".  


Hi Beejo,

As in English in German when we want something from someone we rather use "I möchte bitte...".
If we describe someone else wanting something we use "Peter will Urlaub machen".



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