To wish a state on a person or object?

Hi みんな、

I got a small grammar question because I am not sure how to put a sentence like that together even though I know the different parts.

If I wanted to say “I wish I was better at reading Japanese” or “I wish I was able to run faster” how would I do that?

If we take example 1 I tried to translate it but I’m sure it’s all but fine : 日本語を読むの方が良いでしたが欲しいです。
I simply am not sure how to do it.

How should I go about doing that? :slight_smile:


The grammar points ようになる plus たい might work for what you want.

For example:
I want to reach the point that I can read books quickly.

There may be other (better?) ways to say this of course, but I think this way works.

Edited to use 読める instead of 読む per Leebo’s suggestion.


One tweak I’d suggest is 読める rather than just 読む.


Ah, good point. Thanks.

I’d probably go for something along the lines of 速く走りますを習いたい.

(I) want to learn to run fast.

At least with my limited grammar that’s, I think, roughly accurate.

You can’t put two verbs back to back like that. To make it grammatical, you’d need to turn the first verb into a noun with こと or の or something, but I don’t think it’d be particularly natural.

seanblue’s suggest grammar point of ようになる covers how most Japanese people would say this.


Ah well, tai form is your friend in this case at any rate :stuck_out_tongue: I have no clue about verb normalising what so ever yet so…yeah lol

Oh, also 速い is an adjective, so you can’t link it to 走る like that.

To make your sentence grammatical (but still unnatural) we could do this.


That at least clears up the grammar issues.

Employing the above-mentioned grammar point gives us


走る becomes 走れる to express the idea of “able to”.


Why 読める ? I cannot find it in, what does the め change ?

読める is the potential form of 読む. Rather than “to read” it means “to be able to read.” If you click “show inflections” on the side of 読む’s entry, you’ll see it.


Thank you, makes sense. I am surprised jisho didn’t see itself that it might be an inflection.

Thank you a lot, that it useful.

I am guessing this is closer to something correct then : 日本語をよく読めたようになりたい。

I don’t think 読めた is correct. Just because you used “was” in the English sentence doesn’t mean past tense is correct for the Japanese version.

Technically, using “was” in your English sentence isn’t even correct. In that sentence you’d use “were”. And the sentence is not in past tense.

Try to avoid translating literally from English to Japanese or vice versa.


This sounds like you’re trying to build a time machine.


That is a funny one, because although I think you are right, I am totally happy to use “was” there.

especially in sentences like:

I wish the world was a different place. (?)

Few people will call you out on the subjunctive mood in everyday life, but it was worth pointing out the source of the L1 interference there.

Right, exactly. Normally I wouldn’t comment on someone using “was” instead of “were”. But since it’s impacting the OP’s ability to construct the Japanese sentence I wanted to point it out.


No worries I am happy whenever I get correct because that’s how we learn. Specially since my mother tongue is french.

Could you maybe also say something like


Sounds simpler, but maybe not how a native would think to express it?

Or to better express the wish part (as opposed to want), maybe something with 望む?

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