One of the most important phrases to learn in any languages is “I want to” because it enables you to communicate something you want to do. In this post we will talk about standard Arabic which you can use virtually anywhere but will also mention a few other dialects.
The main verb “want” يريد would literally mean “he wants”.
To say “I want” you should use:
I want: أنا أريد pronounced [ana oreed]
for short: أريد.
I don’t want: لا أريد , or you can just say no if someone just asked a question: لا
Examples of I want in Arabic
- You can start the sentence with أريد and then follow it with whatever you want. The word أريد is pronounced [oreedo]. Make sure you don’t stress or prolong the O at the end it should be a short vowel (for more advanced learners, it is a dammah ضمه). The verb is usually followed by a noun, or if it is followed by another verb, you should add أن, which mean “to”, as in the first example below.
- I want to go home, please. أريد أن أذهب إلى البيت من فضلك
- I would like some water, please. أريد بعض الماء لو سمحت
Here is our lesson on Ordering food & drinks in Arabic.
I want to …… أريد :
- meet you مقابلتك [moqabalatak]
- go [athahab / an ath-hab] أن أذهب / الذهاب
- I want you in Arabic is أريدك [oreedok, sometimes areedak]
Remember to say please after you say I want in Arabic.
Say it in Egyptian Arabic
I want = أنا عايز (Egyptian dialect, masculine).
The feminine version is أنا عايزه (ana 3ayza). If you don’t want to do something, you can say مش عايز [mesh 3ayez, for masculine] or مش عايزه [mesh 3ayza, feminine]. “No” is the same as standard, although Egyptians add a “hamza” or glottal stop at the end “لأ”.
I want water أنا عايز ميه [ana 3ayez mayyah]
I want to talk to you [ana 3ayez akallemak]
Please note the letter “3” denoted the letter ع.
Political real life example!
People don’t normally use standard Arabic in every day life but rather use the local dialect. However, the standard version could give a stronger or more global feeling and is easier to spread to other countries. During the Arab spring where millions protested against their governments in various Arab countries, a common slogan was used which is الشعب يريد إسقاط النظام [asha3b yoreed esqat elnezam] or “people demand overthrowing of the regimen”. It is used here to mean demand or a stronger form of “want”. See if you can hear it in this video.
If you are in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait or one of the other Arabian Gulf countries, you can use the local dialect and say أبغى [abgha], followed by your request and of course the equivalent of please.
Other tenses, formats:
The past is wanted, which is أراد for masculine or أرادت for feminine.
I will want سوف أريد [sawfa oreed].
For 2 people هما يريدان
Plural [masculine] هم يريدون
Plural [feminine] هنّ يردن
If you want to ask some one else:
Do you want?
[m] هل تريد or [f] هل تريدين
If you prefer to watch a video, then have a look at this short video that summarizes saying I want in Arabic. Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions. If you want to know more or want to ask about a different phrase, feel free to leave a comment down below. Yalla!, study some Arabic.