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I am not only confused with the overall definition and distinction between "меня" and "я" but also when to use which when 2 different phrases containing one of them each merge together.

As an example:

  1. Here we have "я бы" = I would

  2. Then we have "мне хотелось" = "I wanted"

So, when conforming the phrase "I would like" as in "restaurant ordering scenarios" what comes up is:

("мне хотелось бы" why not "я хотелось бы"?)

Also from my online russian learning courses seems that this last one (мне хотелось бы), is english translated as "I would like" but that doesn't make sense to me since "to like / to enjoy" is "нравится".

Would the correct way to translate it be "I would want" instead ?

Thanks.

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There's no literal English analog of мне хотелось бы, because it's an impersonal form, so literal combination of words in their cases (like this: мне = to me; бы = would; хотелось = it was a wish) would bring to a strange English phrase, that is never used in the same situation: it would be a wish to me. That is why both мне хотелось бы and я бы хотел are translated as I would like.

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I am not only confused with the overall definition and distinction between "меня" and "я" but also when to use which when 2 different phrases containing one of them each merge together.

Basically speaking, я can be translated as 'I', and меня is 'me'. First is the subject, second is the object.

That's right, я бы can be translated as 'I would'. For example, я бы выпил чаю - 'I would drink some tea'. And that's correct too, мне хотелось means 'I wanted'. It's the same as я хотел. Мне хотелось выпить чаю = 'I wanted to drink some tea', the same as я хотел выпить чаю. However, Мне бы хотелось выпить чаю have the same presupposing meaning as in я бы хотел выпить чаю, or я бы выпил чаю and can be translated as 'I would drink some tea'. Бы changes everything.

Speaking about the phrase 'I would like', the best translation for it is я бы хотел. Я хотелось бы is grammatically incorrect. Мне хотелось бы is acceptable, it means the same as я бы хотел, however it's very tiny nuance. Usually 1st option is used.

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