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Je voudrais vs je veux

Look at these examples:

Je veux une glace!     
I want an ice cream!

Je voudrais un coca, s'il te plaît.
I would like a coke, please.

Je veux un câlin.
I want a hug.

Je voudrais un câlin.
I would like a hug.

Note that to ask for something in French, you could use two forms of the verb vouloir: 
je veux (I want) or je voudrais (I would want/like)

Je voudrais is preferable in social contexts such as in a restaurant, as it is more polite and subtle than the blunt je veux (just like in English).

[Note that j'aimerais (I would like) is also very commonly used in more polite contexts.]

 

Grammar point: Je veux is in Le Présent tense (I want), whereas je voudrais is in Le Conditionnel (I would want/like).

 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Je ne veux pas dormir!
I don't want to sleep!


Bonjour, je voudrais un coca, s'il vous plaît.
Hello, I would like a coke, please.


Je voudrais un câlin.
I would like a hug.


Je veux un câlin.
I want a hug.


Je veux une glace!     
I want an ice cream!


Je voudrais un coca, s'il te plaît.
I would like a coke, please.


Q&A

John

Kwiziq community member

15 June 2018

1 reply

Je voudrais v j'aimerais

What is the difference in usage between je voudrais and j'aimerais? I have heard elsewhere that j'aimerais is appropriate when asking for something that you might not get or are unlikely to get. Is that correct?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

18 June 2018

18/06/18

Hi John,


J'aimerais is simply "I would like...". The emphasis is not so much on getting something but more on liking it.


Je voudrais emphasises that you would like to obtain something, not just liking it.


-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Rebekah

Kwiziq community member

4 January 2018

3 replies

Is it correct to say "Voudrez-vous une tasse de thé?"

Chris

Kwiziq community member

4 January 2018

4/01/18

Yes, it is. Although more polite is "voudriez-vous une tasse de thé. "

-- Chris (not a native speaker)

Rebekah

Kwiziq community member

5 January 2018

5/01/18

Thank you!!

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

6 February 2018

6/02/18

Although grammatically correct, Vous voudrez une tasse de thé ? will relate to an event in the future, meaning something like, Will you be wanting a cup a tea?


For, Do you want a cup of tea? you will say, Vous voulez une tasse de thé ? (or voulez-vous une...) more than the polite form Voudriez-vous une tasse de thé ? which sounds stilted. But in shops or in the case of any dealings with strangers you will use "je voudrais", not "je veux" which sounds rude in French!

Kyaw

Kwiziq community member

22 July 2017

2 replies

How can we say ''I want to + infinitive'' in French? Like I want to eat, sleep, go, etc.

Ron

Kwiziq community member

23 July 2017

23/07/17

Je voudrais is used to request something politely, i.e je voudrais du thé, svp. whereas je veux is used more among friends, etc. je veux manger. or j'ai faim, on y va manger.

Kyaw

Kwiziq community member

23 July 2017

23/07/17

merci mille fois.

Advika

Kwiziq community member

9 December 2016

1 reply

So , Je voudrais des fleurs means I would like some flowers ?

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

9 December 2016

9/12/16

Bonjour Advika !

Yes, it can mean either "I would like some flowers." or "I would like flowers."

À bientôt !

Meghna

Kwiziq community member

1 October 2016

3 replies

Pronounciation

Is the pronunciation of je voudrais un câlin correct? I hear something at the end of voudrais that doesn't seem correct.

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

11 October 2016

11/10/16

Bonjour M. !

Yes, I listened to the sentence, and the pronunciation is correct.

À bientôt !

Kev

Kwiziq community member

6 November 2016

6/11/16

It sounds like she said "Je voudrais la câlin" ( should be "le"?), not "Je voudrais un câlin". Somehow "the hug" doesn't sound right...

Suzan

Kwiziq community member

26 November 2016

26/11/16

J'entend "un calin".
Getting that for you now.