Kodomo-tachi-ga kono eiga-wo mitagatte-iru-no.

My kids want to see this movie.

Situation 1: Mrs. Okubo and Mrs. Kawada are chatting about a new movie.

大久保: 子どもたちがこの映画を見たがっているの。だから、見に行こうと思って。

川田: そう。今、すごい人気みたいね。

Okubo: Kodomo-tachi-ga kono eiga-wo mitagatte-iru-no. Dakara, mi-ni ikō-to omotte.

Kawada: Sō. Ima, sugoi ninki-mitai-ne.

Okubo: My kids want to see this movie. So, we’re going to see it.

Kawada: I see. It seems to be very popular now.

Today, we will introduce the use of がる/たがる, which shows a person’s desire or feeling. When the speaker speaks about themselves, ほしい (want) or X (=verb in pre-masu form) + たい (want to) is used, but we cannot describe another person’s desire or feeling using these expressions. Therefore, X (=verb in pre-masu form) + たがる is used instead as in Mrs. Okubo’s remark above. The form of がる/たがる shows the general tendency, and the form of -たがっている/ほしがっている shows the present condition or state. Example: そんなに暑(あつ)くないのに、夫(おっと)はすぐにエアコンをつけたがる (My husband wants to turn on the air conditioner even when it’s not so hot.) Be careful when using がる/たがる for people to whom you have to show respect as it can sound impolite.

Situation 2: New staff member Ms. Kawasaki is asking Mr. Sere about English learning.

川崎: 英語がもっと上手になりたいんですけど、どうしたらいいですか。

セレ: うーん。恥ずかしがらないで、どんどん話すのがいいんじゃないかな。

Kawasaki: Eigo-ga motto jōzu-ni naritai-n-desu-kedo, dō-shitara ii-desu-ka?

Sere: Un. Hazukashigaranai-de, dondon hanasu-no-ga ii-n-ja nai-kana.

Kawasaki: I want to make progress in English. What should I do?

Sere: Well, I think it’d be good to speak a lot and not be shy.

To express another person’s feeling using an adjective, X (stem of an i-adjective/na-adjective) + がる is used as in Mr. Sere’s remark above. X is an i-adjective such as ほしい (want something), 寒い (さむい, cold), 暑い (あつい, hot) or さみしい (lonely) and na-adjectives such as いや (dislike), ふしぎ (wonder) or 残念(ざんねん pity). Examples: ゆりは新(あたら)しいスマホをほしがっている (Yuri wants a new smartphone.) 彼(かれ)は地震(じしん)をとても恐(こわ)がっていた (He was really frightened by the earthquake.)

Bonus Dialogue: Mr. Sere and Mr. Mita are talking about Mr. Sere’s Japanese learning.

セレ: ほとんどの日本人(にほんじん)は間違(まちが)えるのをこわがって、あまり話(はな)さないんだよね。ぼくはぜんぜん気(き)にしなかったけど。

三田: そうだね。セレくんは間違えても恥(は)ずかしがらずに、その失敗(しっぱい)をおもしろがって、いろいろ話(はな)してくれたなあ。そのおかげであっという間(ま)に日本語が上手(じょうず)になったね。

セレ: ああ、あのころはずいぶん失敗をしたよ。

三田: あと、セレくんは新(あたら)しく覚(おぼ)えた言葉(ことば)をすぐにノートにメモしていたね。めんどうくさがらずに勉強(べんきょう)していたので、感心(かんしん)したよ。

セレ: そうだったなあ。でも、これはみんな三田くんの影響(えいきょう)なんだ。

三田: え? ぼくはそんなに熱心(ねっしん)に英語(えいご)を勉強(べんきょう)しなかったよ。

セレ: 三田くんはきれいな女性(じょせい)に会(あ)うと、すぐに名前(なまえ)や趣味(しゅみ)をメモしていたし、ふられても、その経験をおもしろがって話してくれたじゃないか。ぼくはそういったところを学(まな)んだんだ。

三田: そういうことが役(やく)に立(た)ったとは…。

Sere: Most Japanese are scared of making mistakes and don’t speak much. I don’t care about making them at all, though.

Mita: Yeah. You didn’t hesitate to make mistakes, and enjoyed telling me about them. Because of that, you’ve made remarkable progress in Japanese.

Sere: Oh, I made a lot of mistakes at that time.

Mita: But besides that, you made a note of newly learned words immediately, right? I was amazed because you weren’t lazy at studying.

Sere: That’s true. But this is all due to your influence.

Mita: What? I didn’t study English as hard as you studied.

Sere: You made a note of the names and hobbies of pretty girls. Even if you were rejected, you enjoyed telling me about the experiences. I learned those points.

Mita: I didn’t expect such points would be useful …

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