Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

View topic - ~ が ほしがる / ~ を ほしがる ?

~ が ほしがる / ~ を ほしがる ?

Have a Question about some Grammar point? Share it with the world!

~ が ほしがる / ~ を ほしがる ?

Postby inayana » Sun 03.06.2011 8:10 am

In two textbooks, I came across two almost identical sentences, except that... they're not identical.

1. 彼はもっといい車ほしがっています。

2. かずおはスポーツカー欲しがった。

My question is, should there be "ga" or "wo", and why? : )
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun 03.06.2011 7:58 am
Native language: Polish
Gender: Female

Re: ~ が ほしがる / ~ を ほしがる ?

Postby ss » Sun 03.06.2011 1:08 pm

I saw Nilecat san answered your questions and then he deleted it, he must have his reasons of posting again later. Let's see :P

Anyway, my understanding of hoshii is, when YOU, the first-person pronoun is talking about yourself, like "I want a car", you say 「(私は)車がほしい~。」 It takes が。

If you're talking about a third-person pronoun (third-party), like "Kazuo wants a car", you say 「かずおは車をほしがっている。」ほしがる takes を because this is 第三人称.

And, for the first sentence, I thought it should be を not が。

Let's wait for Nilecat or others to chime in. :)
User avatar
Posts: 1656
Joined: Fri 11.18.2005 10:07 am
Native language: English speaking family

Re: ~ が ほしがる / ~ を ほしがる ?

Postby blutorange » Sun 03.06.2011 1:30 pm

As for ほしい:
Code: Select all
Originally Posted by yuriyuri View Post
I am not sure if you can use を with ほしい or not but I haven't seen it so far, maybe I am wrong though.

You can, but it's not the "default correct form." You should use が. If you use を, it places emphasis on the preceding thing. I've spoken with professional linguists, both non-Japanese and Japanese, about this. It's not really a "rule" so much as something that just happens to be true. (I said so inelegantly.)

Moving on to ほしがる, googling results in を used approximately 4 as often as が. Consulting the following study, which asked Japanese people how they would use が and を (one time with people aged 18-20, another with people aged around 70), we find:
http://www.ritsumei.ac.jp/acd/cg/lt/rb/599/599pdf/higasiya.pdf, page numbered 75 and 76:
「ほしい」と「ほしがる」 [...] いっぽう「ほしがる」というように動作を強めたことばに置き換えると(課題文9)「だれでも,金メダルをほしがる」を全回答者が選んでいる。[...] いっぽう「ほしがる」というように動作を強めたことばに置き換えると(課題文9),ほとんどの者が「を」を選んだ。

Almost everyone chose を.
A few more people agreeing on を: http://www5e.biglobe.ne.jp/~neko-pp/L-15.htm,http://www.geocities.jp/imymea/nihongo/nihongo6-9.htm,http://questionbox.jp.msn.com/qa3220558.html
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun 01.24.2010 4:23 pm
Native language: German

Re: ~ が ほしがる / ~ を ほしがる ?

Postby NileCat » Sun 03.06.2011 1:53 pm

Hi inayana, welcome to TJP.

Thanks, ss and blutorage. Your explanations are exquisite. :)
To my native ears too, the sentence1 sounds off. So I posted it. But after re-reading my post, I kind of hesitated to tell that “the textbook you’re using is totally wrong”, then I deleted it. :lol:

In fact, grammatically speaking, it is not necessarily 100% wrong. The thing is, I for one assume it 98% wrong except for some very special occasions but, apparently the author of the book didn’t think so. And, honestly speaking, this expression can be slipped out in our real life's casual conversation although it sounds very rough and unsophisticated. So, inayana-san, in short, I for one wouldn’t recommend you to remember the sentence 1.
Also, let me point out the possibility that it is only a typo. :(

JFYI, the following is an example in which many people might accept the usage. It's highly colloquial. I suppose there might exist some people who intentionally use が instead of the proper particle を here.

あのね、うちの主人がね、また車が欲しいって言うの。でね、「何色?」って聞いたら、「赤い車だ」って。おかしいでしょ? だってあの人ずっと、「黒い車が欲しい」って言い続けてたんだから。黒い車が欲しがってたものなんだから、黒ならわかるけど、でしょ? いまさら赤い車欲しがってるなんて馬鹿みたい。

("黒い車が欲しがってたもの" is grammatically 100% correct because it's a noun phrase here: (彼が)欲しがってた物. And it could influence the usage in the sentence follows and might make it sound ok.)
Posts: 1168
Joined: Sat 08.01.2009 2:11 pm
Location: Tokyo
Native language: Japanese

Re: ~ が ほしがる / ~ を ほしがる ?

Postby inayana » Sun 03.06.2011 5:29 pm

Thank you very much for your quick answers! I'll stick to を then. By the way, it's amazing to see how intricate a simple grammar issue can turn out to be if we analyse it in depth... I really didn't expect such elaborate answers. Wow.

Also, as I should probably write it somewhere: the first sentence comes from Masahiro Tanimori's "A Handbook of Japanese Grammar", the second one from "A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar".
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun 03.06.2011 7:58 am
Native language: Polish
Gender: Female

Re: ~ が ほしがる / ~ を ほしがる ?

Postby Toten » Tue 03.08.2011 10:17 pm

I don't understand why this grammar in particular should be difficult. I know that there can be some cases where the general rules don't apply, but this is not the case, for me.

欲しい = い-adjective
欲しがる = verb [v.t.]

When you say, for example, 私は車が欲しい, it's obvious that you should use the particle が and not を, because 欲しい is an adjective. Just consider the following examples:

私は背が高い。 Would you say 私は背を高い? Definitely not.
東京は人が多い。 Would you say 東京は人を多い? Definitely not.

Now, when you say, for example, 彼は車を欲しがる, it's natural to use を instead of が, because 欲しがる is not anymore the adjective 欲しい but is now a verb. It's a る verb, from the first group, like 切る or 渡る.

欲しがる / 欲しがります
欲しがらない / 欲しがりません
欲しがった / 欲しがりました
欲しがらなかった / 欲しがりませんでした

Would you say 私は車が買った ? I don't think so. Same for 欲しがる, because it's a transitive verb.

I hope this can help you. And I know that there can be exceptions, as always.
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue 03.08.2011 10:03 pm
Native language: Spanish

Re: ~ が ほしがる / ~ を ほしがる ?

Postby ss » Wed 03.09.2011 3:49 am

Just want to add, I think the thing that confuses most people is probably, they are not told がる by itself is a suffix. It can be a suffix to 形容詞 or 形容動詞の語幹、名詞、希望の助動詞 like 「たい」 to 「た」。

Refer to Tea Kim's explanation on がる.
User avatar
Posts: 1656
Joined: Fri 11.18.2005 10:07 am
Native language: English speaking family

Return to Grammar Questions and Problems

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 16 guests