472 - ~たいものだ (really want to)

JLPT N2: ~たいものだ

This is going to sound like I'm getting off topic, but I want to start this lesson by talking about the sentence-ending particle な.

I've mentioned this before, but adding な to the end of a sentence is done when a speaker wants to elicit that the sentence is said to himself/herself. Because of this, I sometimes refer to it as "inward ね." Consider the following:

美味しい
おいしい ね。
It's good, huh? // It's good, isn't it?
Literally: "tasty + ね."
Note: This is said to a listener.

美味しい
おいしい な。
It's good.
Literally: "tasty + な."
Note: This is said to oneself, though perhaps in the presence of a listener.

We discuss this in several lessons.

なあ is more or less the same. The emphasis is just a tiny bit stronger.

Perhaps the most common form of this is いいなあ, which can mean something like "That sounds great (and I'm jealous)." For example, you could say いいなあ after hearing about your friend that got an awesome job in a country that you want to visit.

なあ also shows up a lot at the end of ~たい phrases. Like this:

女の子にもてるようになりたいなあ
おんなのこ に もてる ように なりたい なあ。
I wish I could make it so girls liked me. // I'd love to become popular with girls.
Literally: “girl + に + be well-liked / be popular (e.g. by/with potential partners) + so that (=ように) + want to become + なあ.”

Now, the following sentence ending in ~たいもんだ almost means the same thing, but you'll see I translated it a bit differently:

女の子にもてるようになりたいもんだ
おんなのこ に もてる ように なりたい もんだ。
I'd really like to become popular with girls. // I really want to become popular with girls.
Literally: “girl + に + be well-liked / be popular (e.g. by/with potential partners) + so that (=ように) + want to become + もんだ.”

Translating the differences between these two phrases is very difficult. With the version ending in なあ, the likelihood that the speaker will become popular with girls seems lower than in the sentence ending with もんだ. That said, it still sounds pretty far from actually happening in both sentences... unless we alter the ~たいもんだ sentence just a bit:

なんとかして女の子にもてるようになりたいもんだ
なんとかして おんなのこ に もてる ように なりたい もんだ。
I really want to do something to make girls like me. // Somehow or other, I'd really like to become popular with girls.
Literally: “somehow or other + girl + に + be well-liked / be popular (e.g. by/with potential partners) + so that (=ように) + want to become + もんだ.”

Aside from the elusive differences mentioned above, ~たいなあ and ~たいもんだ mean pretty much the same thing: "(I'd) really like to..." In fact, I have a grammar book which says that they are the same (maybe because it's too much of a hassle to try explaining the nuances mentioned above).

~たいもんだ is a more colloquial version of ~たいものだ, by the way. Since we're studying for the JLPT, we'll be looking at the latter in the remainder of our examples sentences. It's more likely to show up on the test!


👷 Construction 👷

1) Take a verb like なる, "to become."

2) Put it into ~たい form, as in なりたい, "want to become..."

3) Add ものだ (or もんだ), as in なりたいものだ, "(I'd) really like to become..."

Not too tricky, yeah? Examples to follow...


今年こそは甲子園に出場したいものだ
ことし こそ は こうしえん に しゅつじょう したい ものだ。
This year I really hope we can play in the Kōshien series.
Literally: “this year + for sure + は + Kōshien (series) + に + participate + want to do + ものだ.”
Note: 甲子園 refers to the Japan National High School Baseball Tournament. The name comes from Kōshien Stadium, where the tournament is held.


As seen earlier, ~たいものだ often pairs with words like なんとか ("somehow") and なんとかして ("somehow or other"). These also appear in our last two examples.

ひ孫の顔を見るまでは、なんとかして生きたいものだ
ひまご の かお を みる まで は、 なんとかして いきたい ものだ。
I’d really like to somehow stay alive long enough to see my great-grandchildren.
Literally: “great-grandchild + の + face + を + see + until + は, + somehow or other + want to live + ものだ.”

わたしの甥っ子はなんとか早く運転免許をとりたいものだとよく言っている。
わたし の おいっこ は なんとか はやく うんてんめんきょ を とりたい ものだ と よく いっている。
My nephew often says that he can’t wait to get his driver’s license.
Literally: “I + の + nephew + は + somehow or other + early / soon + driver’s license + を + want to take + ものだ + と + often + is saying.”


That's all. Happy studies.

And don't ever silence the voice in your head saying:

なんとかして日本語ぺらぺらになりたいもんだ!
なんとかして にほんご ぺらぺら に なりたい もんだ!
I really want to somehow become fluent in Japanese!
Literally: "somehow or other + Japanese + fluent + に + want to become + もんだ."

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