1). хотелось = мне хотелось / I wanted

2). хочу = я хочу купить что нибудь для тебя / I want to buy something for you

What is the difference between "хотелось" when used in the first scenario v.s. "хочу" on the second where they are both a conjugation of the "хотеть" verb or "to want" in English.

Even if the answer implies that with "мне" you always use "хотелось" and therefore "я" must be always accompanied by "хочу" when do you use "мне хотелось" with a comprehensible example please and when would "я хочу" be the best choice to use instead.

Also for these "хотеть" scenarios I'm wondering if this word even means "to want" or is it more "to like" since for "мне хотелось бы" is translated as "I would like" rather than "I would want".

  • Please stop attaching pictures irrelevant to the content of your posts. This serves no purpose useful to the community and only distracts attention. Thank you!
    – Quassnoi
    Nov 26, 2018 at 18:10
  • Near duplicate of russian.stackexchange.com/q/15530/2104 Nov 26, 2018 at 18:27
  • @Quassnoi may I have a rational logical answer for this militant behavior of restricting neutral and unoffensive content just because you want to promote this strict moderator culture? Sick of stack exchange being full of nipple hurted people. Put a band aid on it, and since Im not offending through the image and yes it is a picture even if indirectly, correlated to russian culture I'll re-upload it, thanks for the advice. ;) Nov 26, 2018 at 18:31
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    @nicolasns96: of course you can! Multiple people (myself included, but that's not the point here) find irrelevant images degrading the quality of the posts. They flag your posts for moderator attention. I can't speak for the others, but in my book, we're not a forum or a public posting board or anything like that, we are a question and answer site, with the focus on sharing the knowledge through asking and answering real-world, useful, well-defined questions. Common courtesy tells us that when asking others to share their knowledge, your post should contain nothing irrelevant ...
    – Quassnoi
    Nov 26, 2018 at 18:45
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    @nicolasns96 ... to the question, and be put in such a way that the person who will answer it (and the rest of the community who will be later reading your post) would find it easy to understand it. You might not feel that way, but I personally and at least some other members of the community do. Please respect our time by not stealing our attention on things irrelevant to the question. Thank you!
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    Nov 26, 2018 at 18:49

2 Answers 2


Мне хочется is for wishes you can't control:

  • Мне хочется спать. = I need a nap.
  • Хочется съесть чего-нибудь. = I want/need to eat something.
  • Что делать, когда хочется сладкого? = What to do when you're craving sugar?

Хочу is for your conscious wishes/decisions:

  • Хочу в Париж!

"хотелось" - means "I wanted it, but not so much to take any serious actions to achieve it (or had no way to achieve it)". And yes, you're right: it near "хотелось бы", but in the past tense.
"хотел" has a wider range of meanings. It may be synonymous with "хотелось" (using "Я" instead of "Мне"), but it may also mean a more real desire that you actually tried to fulfill.

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