In "мне захотелось пить" - should I think that past tense «захотелось» means «A desire to drink has come to me, and as a result there's an ongoing state where I want to have a drink now»?

  • please, don't use uppercase the way you use it in titles
    – shabunc
    Commented Sep 30, 2018 at 9:19
  • "I felt a desire to drink", then depending on how long ago are you talking about: if it's a second or a minute ago, you're probably saying that you're thirsty right now, if it's about more distant past - then it's about how you were thirsty in the past.
    – Headcrab
    Commented Oct 2, 2018 at 0:32

3 Answers 3


This is ambiguous, it can function as both Past Simple and Present Perfect.

Past Simple - Когда я наелся вяленой рыбы, мне так захотелось пить, что я выпил литр воды за раз.

Present Perfect - Мне захотелось пить, у тебя не найдётся минералочки?


Although it may mean that the desire has come or had come depending on the context, I won't use the phrase to say I want to drink now.

To make it sound natural in the present perfect sense you have to relax it, make it sound more colloquial, for example:

Мне что-то захотелось пить. - I'm kind of thirsty.

Notice that что-то is not an object of пить, but just a word used to mince the phrase.


In a Past Simple form it's quite common, sort of "I was thirsty".

In a Present Perfect it sounds a bit awkward. A more natural form would be "Мне захотелось попить".

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