2

If I am asked a question in English using want, for example:

Do you want to talk to me?

I can respond like this1:

Yes, I want to.

I can't say:

Yes, I want.

It would be very incorrect and weird.

In Spanish, how can one say "I want to"?

Also, supposing this works, does it work with other verbs, for example "necesitar," to say "I have to" without a second verb?

1Just "yes" works there, too; this is more formal.


Si alguien me pregunta algo en inglés, por ejemplo:

Do you want to talk to me?

Yo puedo responder con1:

Yes, I want to.

No puedo decir:

Yes, I want.

Sería muy incorrecto y raro.

En español, ¿cómo se dice «I want to»?

También, ¿funciona la solución con palabras como «necesitar» para decir «I have to» sin un segundo verbo?

1Decir sólo «yes» también funciona; este es más formal.

  • 1
    Please edit the Spanish part if anything is badly translated. – Stormblessed Sep 14 at 14:27
  • What translation did you try, that didn't convice you? What do you mean "without a verb"? Bear in mind that necesitar is a verb... – walen Sep 14 at 14:29
  • 1
    @walen I meant to say "without a second verb"; it's the same sort of thing as my example with querer. – Stormblessed Sep 14 at 14:31
  • Ahh ok, I see what you meant now. – walen Sep 14 at 14:33
  • Good answers; I would just add that another option in English would be "Yes, I do." This could be helpful to other Spanish learners, especially if they're coming from English. – aparente001 Sep 14 at 18:08
8

Just say quiero. In a full reply you can say Sí, quiero. The verb doesn't work differently from other verbs. It doesn't have to indicate that an infinitive should follow when this infinitive is left out. So it's not like the English verb "to want" and others ("to like", "to love", "to plan", "to need", etc.).

—¿Quieres hablar conmigo?
—Sí, quiero.

Other Spanish verbs followed by infinitives work like this too:

—¿Te gustaría tomar algo? ("Would you like to have a drink?")
—Sí, me gustaría. ("Yes, I'd like to.")

There's no special word, similar to English "to", to mark an infinitive in Spanish. There are also no "phrasal verbs" in the English sense, consisting of main verb plus preposition/adverb; no verb in Spanish may appear followed by a dangling particle such as "to" in "I want to."

Note that some Spanish verbs that are customarily followed by an infinitive cannot simply leave it out, but have to replace it with the generic hacer plus the neuter pronoun lo.

—¿Planeas irte de vacaciones? ("Do you plan to go on holiday?")
—No, no planeo hacerlo. ("No, I don't plan to do it.")

  • I was going to edit "Unless the English verb" to "Unlike the English verb" but I thought I better check first. // But I'm not sure "to want" is in a class by itself for the purposes of this question. For example, Do you plan to fly out tomorrow? Yes, I plan to. So, maybe you could simplify your answer a bit. – aparente001 Sep 14 at 18:01
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    @aparente001 Thanks for spotting that. I've corrected it, generalized the answer and added an extra example. – pablodf76 Sep 15 at 1:43
  • Great, thanks. Hmm. Now I'm wondering if there's some pattern that helps one figure out when you have to take the approach that you showed with "no planeo hacerlo." That is a detail from when I was learning Spanish that I don't remember any more. Now I just do it without thinking about it. What do you think, would this be a separate question? – aparente001 Sep 15 at 2:28
  • @aparente001 I don't think it's a special pattern. It has to do with optional vs. compulsory transitivity. Planear just doesn't work without an object; querer does. – pablodf76 Sep 15 at 19:54
  • Well, there is a sentence "No planeo," which could mean, in the right context, "I'm not one of those people who plans things." I don't quite see yet what you said about compulsory transitivity. – aparente001 Sep 15 at 20:50
2

Well Spanish doesn't work the same way as English in this regard.

In English you say I want to talk to someone, but in Spanish you say Quiero hablar con alguien. So you don't need any preposition or anything, so to the question

¿Quieres hablar conmigo?

the answer is

Sí, quiero.

Basically the infinitive of a verb doesn't require any additional word as the English "to". Other examples:

But, on the other hand:

  • ¿Tienes que pasar por la tienda hoy después del trabajo? (Do you have/need to go to the store after work?)

In this case you cannot answer with sí, tengo nor sí, tengo que because both would feel incomplete. So the best answer would be either or sí, tengo que ir.

And also as a final note, a few examples on the difference between necesitar and tener que. Basically tener que refers more to an obligation, like the previous example with the visit to the store or this one:

Tengo que llevar a mi hija a su cita con el médico (I have to take my daughter to the doctor's appointment).

And necesitar is more used for something that needs special attention or certain urgency:

Necesito llevar el auto al taller (I need to take the car to the garage).

In this case you need to get the car repaired as soon as possible.

In this last example please note that the word car has many regional differences. Auto is used in the south countries of South America. Also the word taller could be taller mecánico or just mecánico.

  • Do you want to address the last part of OP's question as well, as to other verbs? – aparente001 Sep 14 at 18:02
  • Thanks for editing your answer. Maybe you got a bit off on a tangent in the second half -- I'd suggest taking that out, and maybe creating a separate Q&A about that (if it hasn't been addressed yet here). Also, it looks like you were planning to include some more examples but forgot to fill in that section. – aparente001 Sep 15 at 14:28

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