Why is ですstill following a desire verb?

Why are they doubling down on verbs in this video?

Is です not redundant here? e.g.:


We already have the verb 食べたい in the sentence.

In the example after these two, they drop です…


です makes a sentence polite when placed after an い adjective, which is what 食べたい has become after attaching the auxiliary たい to 食べる.

It’s not strictly grammatically necessary, which is why not having it is no problem at all. It just results in a casual sentence.


~たい behaves like いーadjective, so if you want to make the sentence polite, you add です at the end.

(few seconds too late :wink: )


I’ll do you one better, ~たい is an i-adjective :wink:

A lot of Japanese grammar is just tacking on more verbs and adjectives at the end of things.


Seems a bit extreme to claim they are exactly the same. I don’t think i-adjectives can take を, but ~を食べたい is grammatical.

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Nothing extreme about it. 食べたい isn’t an i-adjective, たい is an auxiliary i-adjective tacked on to the stem form of 食べる. を points to the object of 食べる, not the object of たい.

Same as how ます is an auxiliary verb that doesn’t really get used on its own :person_shrugging:


I’ll do you one better: Why is Gam-

Uh, I mean, what gets even more fun is when you’re talking about someone else’s wanting, you need to say ~たがる, which is a verb again.


Unless due to circumstances (e.g. you’re quoting what someone said to you) you have absolute certainty about what they want, in which case you use ~たい again…

Ain’t Japanese fun :smile:

It’s pretty intuitive when you think of がる as a verb telling you what appears to be the case as opposed to ~たい being a statement of fact, but at first it can be a bit confusing.


Is there a case where it makes a visible difference to think of it that way rather than as an inflection of the verb? For instance for -ている thinking about it as て-stem plus いる auxiliary verb rather than “-ている is an inflection of the verb” is clearer because it copes with cases where something turns up between the verb and the auxiliary, like いつも食べてばかりいるわけじゃありません or 食べてはいるけど食べる気になれない. But I don’t think there are cases like that for -たい so it’s just an aesthetic preference which way you think about it, right?

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For its conjugations, mostly, but in a more general sense it helps to think of japanese grammar on the whole as tacking auxiliary verbs and stuff on, because it makes the whole process a lot more intuitive.

You can absolutely treat everything as a verb inflection, but the meaning of constructions - especially as they become longer - becomes a lot more intuitive when you consider the agglutinative nature of Japanese grammar. A construction like 食べたくなくなってきた is a lot less confusing when not thought of as a single inflection.

For ~たい specifically there’s maybe not that much to be concerned with since the number of “variations” you’ll see in practice is limited, but if you’re already thinking about the entirety of Japanese grammar as agglutinative, treating たい differently is just making things more confusing on purpose.

It also simplifies conjugation rules significantly. Verbs have only a handful of actual conjugations. い-adjectives have even fewer. So if you remember maybe 10 or so different conjugations for verbs and adjectives combined, you’ve suddenly got all the building blocks you need for every construction you can dream of, whether it’s 食べない or 話してあげたくなければ or whatever else.

Actually, ~たい vs ~たがる might be a decent example of why it helps in deciphering meanings. You can learn those as two entirely separate unrelated things, but the auxiliary verb in the second construction is just がる, the た part of it is the た in たい, so たがる literally just means - as follows logically from its components - “appears to want”, whereas たい means “wants” (which is where the “statement of fact” thing I mentioned earlier comes in). And in terms of understanding the conjugations and such as well: ~たがる is absolutely no different from 怖がる for instance, they’re exactly the same thing: い-adjective, strip off the い, replace with がる to indicate it’s what you think someone feels, not what you absolutely know.

If it does in fact help you to think about it as just another verb inflection, that’s all fine, but I personally don’t see the point in making mental exceptions to an overarching theme that explains just about every construction you may run across. Linguistically speaking it’s definitely not just a verb inflection, though.


The thing is that in traditional Japanese grammar (I’m talking about the terms they use here), 助動詞 (which would translate quite literally as ‘helper verbs’) are a pretty huge class, and 〜たい is included, so we could argue that the whole thing is still a verb. But well, I agree that it’s more intuitive (or at least, easier to get all the way to what a word means) when we think about these things as bits and pieces that each add a little idea to the word. (For that matter, the first time I felt myself parsing a Japanese sentence as I heard it, I was aware of my brain adjusting its interpretation every two syllables or so. That’s harder to do on the fly if you think of these things as single units.)

That aside, I guess that morphologically speaking (i.e. in terms of conjugations and what they look like), thinking of 〜たい as an adjective is helpful for remembering and understanding what’s happening to it in a sentence. Traditional Japanese grammar also does account for this, because it notes that there are 形容詞型の助動詞 (adjective-type helper verbs) and 動詞型の助動詞 (verb-type helper verbs).

I guess what I’m saying is that there isn’t really a visual difference regardless of how you think about it (after all, helper verbs aren’t standalone words/components), but there can be some benefit in terms of understanding when you break things down. (Plus, breaking these things down makes the knowledge transferable, whereas many beginners treat these things as conjugation patterns to be memorised verb by verb – I’ve seen people posting conjugation practice on Twitter – which is unfortunate given how consistent Japanese conjugation is.)


Interesting – I kind of feel the opposite way for listening and speaking – I know that analysing these things as a lot of one or two syllable components is the way it works under the hood, but to be able to speak fluidly and understand them when listening I need to think of them in bigger chunks than that.


I mean, we could argue that い adjectives are all syntactically verbs, but I need to go to bed now

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Yeah, that’s the main point for me, really. It’s nice to know that Japanese grammar resources do consider them auxiliary verbs, but I feel that in every practical sense they’re just i-adjectives (which, you know, verbs in the most technical sense, but that’s not really a useful thing to worry about here).

I guess it’s about striking a balance between technicalities and things that actually help you with the language. For me personally, that distinction between auxiliary adjectives and auxiliary verbs is useful - and considering the split between 形容詞型の助動詞 and 動詞型の助動詞 I’d say it’s useful to natives as well, though maybe not in the same way or to the same extent.

The agglutinative nature of Japanese grammar is something that has helped me tremendously in a more general sense though - for exactly the reason you’ve outlined. For instance, I’ve found this little sentence on Reddit:


And while you can treat 食べさせられたくなければ as a single verb inflection, that’s a damn complex one. Breaking it into bits (to eat + causative → make someone eat + passive → be made to eat + たい → want to be made to eat + negative → don’t want to be made to eat + conditional → if you don’t want to be made to eat) makes it much easier to parse IMO, and as you said lets you just readjust the meaning in your head as you hear or read more of it once you’ve internalised those bits and pieces, no matter the amount of them or the order they may appear in, because they’ll always do exactly the same thing to the preceding bits.

And then there’s stuff like Ace Attorney 2 hitting you with a back and forth tacking one more negation onto the same word, culminating in a string so long it’s just cut off:

A: そんなことないよ。
B: そんなことなくないッ!
A: そんなことなくなくないよ!
B: そんなことなくなくなくなくなくなくなくなくなく…

You could try to remember that as a single verb inflection… or you could see Japanese grammar as agglutinative and therefore technically allowing you to tack on negations until you keel over and nobody knows what you’re saying anymore.


In addition to what the others said, it’s also worth noting that a few other adjectives can take を (好き and 嫌い on come to mind).

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case in point:
(ぼく):はい、弁当(べんとう)()べたい :smile_cat:

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I think this might be missing a sentence.


It’s possible that I didn’t catch what my other coworker said… :hear_no_evil: I just wanted to make clear that I was not part of that convo lol

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