Monday, October 29, 2018

Tai-form ~たい

In Japanese, the "tai-form" happens when you add the -tai ~たい auxiliary adjective to the ren'youkei 連用形 conjugation of a verb, causing it to change to the desiderative mood. In other words, -tai means "want to" in Japanese, and verb-tai means "want to verb."

(beware of homonyms: tai 体, morpheme for "body," and tai 対, "versus." Those are also tai but not what this article is about.)

はぁ…女体触りたいモテたい 直球だね transcript from manga Boku no Hero Academia 僕のヒーローアカデミア
Manga: Boku no Hero Academia 僕のヒーローアカデミア


Since -tai is an auxiliary adjective, it's inflected the same way as i-adjectives in Japanese.
  • katsu 勝つ
    To win.
  • kachi-tai 勝ちたい
    Want to win. (base form.)
  • kachi-takatta 勝ちたかった
    Wanted to win. (past form.)
  • makeru 負ける
    To lose.
  • make-takunai 負けたくない
    Not want to lose. (negative form.)
  • make-takunakatta 負けたくなかった
    Not wanted to lose. (past negative form.)
  • nigeru 逃げる
    To run away. To escape.
  • nige-taku naru 逃げたくなる
    To become wanting to escape.
    [To start feeling like] wanting to escape.
  • nige-taku natta 逃げたくなった
    Became wanting to escape.
    [Felt like] wanting to escape.
  • nigetakute furueru 逃げたくて震える
    To tremble wanting to escape. (te-form.)
    Want to escape [so much that you] tremble.
  • nigetakute kekkon shitai 逃げたくて結婚したい
    Want to escape and want marry.
  • nigetakutemo nigerarenai 逃げたくても逃げられない
    Even if [you] want to escape [you] can't escape

Suffixing to Verbs

The -tai auxiliary is added after the ren'youkei 連用形 conjugation of verbs. See:
  • de aru であ
    de aritai でありたい
    Want to be. (copula.)
    • donna ningen de aritai? どんな人間でありたい?
      What kind of human do [you] want to be?
  • iru
    Want to be. (somewhere.)
    • soba ni itai そばにいたい
      Want to be nearby.
      [I] want to be [by your side].
  • suru
    shitai したい
    Want to do.
    • nani ga shitai? なにがしたい?
      What do [you] want to do?
  • kuru
    kitai 来たい
    Want to come.
    • asobi ni kitai? 遊びに来たい?
      Do [you] want to come play?
  • au
    Want to meet.
  • kiku
    Want to hear.
    (often to ask something you want to hear.)
  • oyogu
    Want to swim.
  • korosu
    Want to kill.
  • yaku ni tatsu 役に立
    yaku ni tachitai 役に立ちたい
    Want to be useful.
  • shinu
    Want to die.
  • asobu
    Want to play.
  • nomu
    Want to drink.
  • kiru (godan verb.)
    Want to cut.
  • kiru (ichidan verb.)
    Want to wear.

Causative Passive Tai-Form

The -tai auxiliary can also be added to passive and causative conjugations of verbs. For example:
  • fumu 踏む
    To step on.
  • fumareruまれる
    To be stepped on.
    (passive conjugation.)
  • fumaretai 踏まれたい
    Want to be stepped on.
  • yasumaseruませる
    To force to rest. (probably not.)
    To let rest. (probably yes.)
    (causative conjugation.)
  • yasumasetai 休ませたい
    Want to let rest.
  • mitomeru 認める
    To acknowledge.
    To admit.
  • mitomesaseru 認めさせる
    To force to admit. (probably yes.)
    To let admit. (probably not.)
    (causative conjugation.)
  • mitomesasetai 認めさせたい
    Want to force [someone] to admit [something].
    Want to make [someone] admit [something].
  • bikkuri びっくり
    Feeling of surprise. (mimetic word.)
  • bikkuri suru びっくりする
    To feel surprised. (suru verb.)
  • bikkuri saseru びっくりさせる
    To make [someone] feel surprised.
    (causative conjugation.)
  • bikkuri saserareru びっくりさせられる
    To be made feel surprised.
    (causative passive conjugation.)
  • bikkuri saseraretai びっくりさせられたい
    Want to be made feel surprised.
    [I] want [you/him/her/someone] to surprise [me].
    (causative passive tai-form conjugation.)


For reference, a tai-form conjugation chart.

Tai-form conjugation chart.

-Tee ~てぇ

Sometimes -tai ~たい is pronounced as -tee ~てぇ instead. This is a colloquialism, a contraction in speech, so it's not formal Japanese. Nevertheless, it works the same way as the normal -tai.
  • geemu yaritai ゲームやりたい
    geemu yaritee ゲームやりてぇ
    [I] want to play [video-]games.

This -tee ~てぇ is not to be confused with the casual quoting particle tte って.

-Tee ~てー

Sometimes -tee ~てぇ is spelled -tee ~てー instead, with the prolonged sound mark ー. It's the same thing, only spelled differently.

Mista saying イチゴケーキが食いてーんだよっオレはッ! transcript from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Part 5
Manga: Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: Part 5, Jojo no Kimyou na Bouken Ougon no Kaze ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 黄金の風
  • ichigo keeki ga
    kuitee-n-da yo'
    ore wa'!

    イチゴケーキが 食いてーんだよッ オレはッ!
    I want to eat a strawberry cake!

More Examples


やりたいこと…人の上に立ちたい それは…… transcript of manga Aho Girl アホガール
Manga: Aho Girl / Aho Gaaru アホガール
  • Context: Yoshiko よしこ has been asked what she wants to do.
  • yaritai koto...
    A thing [I] want to do...
  • :thinking:
  • hito no ue ni tachitai
    [I] want to stand above people.
    (as in, looking down upon them, like a king, etc.)
  • sore wa......それは……


じゃ…じゃ~~んーど…どうですかね~~?しにたい transcript from manga Demi-chan wa Kataritai 亜人ちゃんは語りたい
Manga: Demi-chan wa Kataritai 亜人ちゃんは語りたい
  • Context: Sakie 佐藤早 attempts to look cute.
  • ja... ja~~~n~
    Ta... tada!
  • do... dou desu ka ne~~?
    H... how [do I look]?
  • shinitai しにたい
    [I] want to die.
  • Bonus: manga title
    • ajin (demi)-chan wa kataritai
      Demi's want to talk.
      (*demi is gikun for ajin 亜人, "demi-human.")
    • kataru 語る
      To talk. (about something, in this case, about themselves, probably.)


喜ぶ顔が見たいからだ! transcript from manga Uchouten Kazoku 有頂天家族
Manga: Uchouten Kazoku 有頂天家族
  • yorokobu kao ga
    mitai kara da!

    喜ぶ顔が 見たいからだ!
    Because want to see rejoicing face. (literally.)
    Because [I] want to see [her smiling].


はぁ…女体触りたいモテたい 直球だね transcript from manga Boku no Hero Academia 僕のヒーローアカデミア
Manga: Boku no Hero Academia 僕のヒーローアカデミア
  • Context: Mineta 峰田 being Mineta.
  • haa... はぁ…
  • nyotai

    女体 触りたい
    [I] want to touch a woman's body.
    • nyotai 女体
      Female body.
      (this ends with the morpheme for "body," tai 体, not the desiderative auxiliary adjective -tai this article is about!)
    • sawaru 触る
      To touch.
  • motetai モテたい
    [I] want to be popular with girls.
  • chokkyuu da ne
    [Direct, aren't you]?
    • chokkyuu 直球
      Straight ball. (baseball term.)
      Direct. (when used as a metaphor.


いや…別にいいよ知りたくないし… quote from manga Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san からかい上手の高木さん
Manga: Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san からかい上手の高木さん
  • Context: regarding whether Nishikata wants to know the answer of something.
  • iya...
    [No... I mean...]
  • betsu ni ii yo
    [It's fine.]
  • shiritakunai-shi...
    [I] don't want to know...


Manga: Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san からかい上手の高木さん
  • Context: Nishikata waits for perfect timing.
  • juppun-go
    Ten minutes later.
  • aa, hayakuu
    Takagi-san wo
    Aah, [I] want to make Takagi laugh soon.
    • warau 笑う
      To laugh.
    • warawaseru 笑わせる
      To let laugh.
      To make laugh. To force to laugh.
      (causative conjugation.)
  • sowa-sowa
  • iya...
    gaman da ore.

    Endure it, me. (he's addressing himself, telling him to calm down and wait.)

Further Reading



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  1. Sensei,


    If Boss wants Subordinate A to make Subordinate B to do the work .
    上司:私が"Aさんは Bさんに 仕事をさせる” のが ほしいです。
       私が” Aさんは Bさんに レポートを かかせる”のを おねがっています。
    Is there a combination of sasemasu and hoshii/ tai when we want to say I want you to make him study/ do the work ( forcing is involved)

    1. Well, I'm not really good at making complex sentences, but I think you wouldn't use them like that.

      Assuming "I" talks to "C" about "A" and "B," it would probably become like this:

      I, to A-san, said: "make B-san do the work."
      I think: if A-san made B-san do the work it would be good.

      In any case, you probably would omit 私は.

      If you aren't talking to a "C," but talking to "A," you can omit them too.
      [I] want [you] (A) to make B do the work.

      I'm not well-versed in how bosses speak in a real-life business environment, but it's possible they wouldn't use ほしい, they would just use the verb in an imperative form (because they're the boss and can order people around). させて, させなさい, させろ, and so on.