How do you say I want in Italian?

How exactly do you say I want in Italian? Are there more ways to say it?

In this lesson, we will take a look at the different ways you can translate this sentence into Italian. Read on to learn them all!

Let’s start! Iniziamo!

how do you say i want in italian - let's start - iniziamo - athlete woman running

How do you say I want in Italian?


Voglio is how you most commonly translate the sentence I want in Italian.

I want…

For example, you could say…

Voglio andare in vacanza a Roma.
I want to go on vacation to Rome.

Voglio che porti le tue cose fuori da questa stanza.
I want you to take your things out of this room.

Voglio quel giocattolo, mamma!
I want that toy, mommy!

kid having a tamper tantrum

Voglio is the first-person singular conjugation of volere, to want, in the present tense. It is an irregular verb and it’s also a modal verb, because it can be followed by an infinitive verb.

Present tense conjugation for volere

lui, leivuole

For example, you could say…

Giorgio vuole andare in vacanza in Thailandia.
Giorgio wants to go on vacation to Thailand.

Vuoi fermarti a mangiare in un ristorante?
Do you want to stop and eat at a restaurant?

Voglio un cagnolino.
I want a small dog.

man dancing with his small dog

Voglio can be quite straightforward, if not downright rude, to use in everyday speech. If you are at a restaurant or other public place and want to order anything, use vorrei, the conditional form of volere, which translates the English expression I would like.

The many functions of I want in Italian

Voglio can introduce different things.

It can introduce a wish:

Voglio un nuovo computer!
I want a new computer!

Voglio cambiare le tende del salotto.
I want to change the curtains in the living room.

Aiuta Lingookies con un 👍!

It can introduce a will:

Voglio finire questo disegno oggi!
I want to finish this drawing today!

Voglio smettere di bere entro fine anno.
I want to stop drinking by the end of the year.

And it can introduce a command.

Non voglio che tu vada in discoteca domani sera.
I don’t want you to go to a disco tomorrow night.

Voglio che riordini camera tua entro stasera.
I want you to tidy up your room by tonight.

tidied up bedroom with a desk and a laptop


Desidero comes from the verb desiderare, to wish, and it’s a less common translation for I want in Italian. It’s a bit more polite than voglio and you can use it in public places as well. It’s often used by shopkeepers to mean “what can I help you with?”.

I want, I would like…

For example, you could hear…

Che cosa desidera?
What can I help you with?
Literally: What do you desire?

Desidero cambiare questo vestito che ho comprato ieri.
I wish to change this dress I bought yesterday.

Desidero prenotare un tavolo per stasera.
I wish to reserve a table for tonight.

couple dining at a restaurant

Ho voglia di…

Ho voglia di is an untranslatable expression in Italian with the meaning of I’m in the mood for or I feel like. It literally means “I have (a) want of” and it can translate I want in Italian where you want to express a temporary desire for something, like an ice cream or a walk in the park.

Ho voglia di…
I’m in the mood for…

For example, you could say:

Ho voglia di mangiare un enorme gelato al cioccolato.
I feel like eating a huge chocolate ice cream.

No, non ho voglia di una passeggiata.
No, I’m not in the mood for a walk.

Ho voglia di una pizza. Andiamo in pizzeria stasera?
I feel like (eating) a pizza. Shall we go to a pizza place tonight?

steaming hot pizza in a box

Mi va

Mi va is another common translation for I want in Italian, and it could be literally translated as “it goes to me”. It translates the English expression “I feel like”.

Mi va…
I feel like…

For example, you could say:

Mi va di mangiare fuori domani a pranzo.
I feel like eating out for lunch tomorrow.

Io faccio quello che mi va!
I do what I feel like!

Non mi va di andare al cinema stasera.
I don’t feel like going to the movies tonight.

And that’s it, now you know the many ways to say I want in Italian!

What next?

➡️ Learn other common Italian questions!

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