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How to say “I want to…” in Italian: 3 ways


Did you know that there’s not just one way to say “I want” in Italian, but three ways? Depending on the context and level of formality, you can use different expressions to convey your wishes. Understanding these nuances can deepen your command of the language and allow you to communicate more effectively in a variety of situations!

I want = I want

The standard translation of “I want” that every learner learns in their first year Italian course is I think. Io It is a personal pronoun, meaning “I” However I think is the first person singular conjugation of the verb think (want to).

Note that in Italian, the personal pronoun can be dropped when it ends in a verb (in this case -o).

(I want to go to the beach.

I want to go to the beach.

I want = I want

Just as the learner gets the hang of it I thinkthey will soon encounter the second expression: I think.It literally means “I have a desire” and its function is the same as I think.

In this case we have the verb arrivewhich is the first person singular conjugation have (have) and nouns want to (meaning “desire” or “desire”).

(I) want to go to the beach.

I want to go to the beach.

I want = mi va

Do you think there are only two ways to translate “I want”? Far away! In fact, there is a third, more popular expression, I can, which can be quite challenging for beginners. It literally means “it belongs to me,” but in fact, it’s just another way of saying I think or I feel.

I want to go to the beach.

I want to go/want to go to the beach.

This expression is often used in negative form – I don’t think – It means “I don’t want to/I don’t like it”.

Would you like to go to the beach? – No, I don’t like this today.

Would you like to go to the beach? – No, I don’t like this today.

i want italiani want italian
i want italiani want italian



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