Better Ways To Say I Want In English

Other ways to say I want in English. The lesson today is about I want.

When we use I want in English, it can sound a little bit harsh. I remember when I was growing up, my mother would always say to me,

I want never gets.

What she meant by that was if you say I want it sounds a little bit rude. If I wanted something, I would have to say,

  • I would like
  • Could I please have something

I appreciate in many languages I want and I would like are the same words. In the English language, they’re very different. Today, we’re going to look at different ways in which you can say I want that will sound much better, and much more polite.

Listen to the podcast Speak Better English with Harry or watch it on YouTube at Learn English with Harry.

Ways to say I want

Ways to say I want in English

I wish


I had a euro for every time somebody asked me for an English lesson.

I wish I could go out later but it’s very wet.

I hope


I hope that you will be able to come back soon.

I hope to sign up for university in the next few months.

I long for

When you long for something, it means literally that you have wanted it for a very long time.


I long for a nice cold beer so on a hot summer’s day.

I long for some peace and quiet along for those nice warm winter evenings.

I crave

We have a deep desire for something, usually food.


Somebody who’s been on a diet for weeks might crave for some chocolate.

Pregnant women often crave something sour or sweet.

to lust after

⚠️You have to be very particular about how you use it.⚠️

to lust after somebody is to have a desire to be physically and sexually close to somebody, it is usually not returned

We’ll just focus on lusting after some food.


I’m lusting after that deep red bottle of wine that I tasted several months ago and I haven’t been able to find it in the shop.

book your trial English Lesson

I desire

It is a little bit stronger than want, a little bit stronger than hope. It’s something similar to crave.


I desire a holiday. I desire a comfortable home. I desire some free time.

I fancy

This is quite an informal way to say that you want something.


Do you fancy going out tonight?

I’d like to go for a walk, do you fancy joining me?

We’re meeting for a pizza after work, do you fancy coming?

I fancy going out tonight, I’ve been stuck at home for the last two weeks working remotely.

Now, we can fancy the girl in the shop, we can fancy the guy in the supermarket. That means we are attracted to them. It doesn’t mean we physically or in any other way want them.

Ways to say I want in English

Ways to say I want in English. Advanced English learning. English lessons on Zoom at #learnenglish #englishlessons #EnglishTeacher #vocabulary #ingles

Share and help other students to improve English language skills.

I feel like

Again, an informal way to say that you want something.


I feel like a pizza tonight. It’s Friday, why not?

I feel like going into town and maybe just having a walk.

What about the zoo? We haven’t been to the zoo for ages. Do you feel like that?

Fancy doing something and feel like are very similar, both very informal.

Some of these next few expressions are a little bit longer but they are equally good.

I have my heart set on something

You have a deep desire, it’s something you’ve planned, something you’ve hoped for.


She didn’t get the course she wanted, she had her heart set on that course.

In the pandemic, a lot of people had their hearts set on joining their family and friends for Christmas.

Speak better English with Harry - Podcast Episode 330

I feel in the mood


I feel in the mood for a game of golf.

I feel in the mood for a walk in the hills.

I feel in the mood to do absolutely nothing.

I have my eye on something

We have a desire to get or to buy something.


I’ve had my eye on those plates for quite a while. Every day for the last two weeks, I kept looking at them and thinking, they might look nice on the table. So eventually I went in and bought them.

I had my eye on a couple of jobs that might suit me. 

Somebody can have their eye on a person meaning they are watching them. Watching their movements, watching what they’re doing.

I had my eye on you for a while, you’ve been late quite a few mornings.

I have something in mind


I have a change in mind. Let’s paint the walls bright green.

From a work point of view, you can always have something in mind because you’re planning things.

You’re planning to change the routine, you’re planning to change the approach to customers, you’re planning to change the way you approach your job. 

Ways to say I want in English

Ways to say I want in English. Advanced English learning. English lessons on Zoom at #learnenglish #englishlessons #EnglishTeacher #vocabulary #ingles

I’m itching for something

We really want something quickly or immediately. A really, really informal way to say I want something.


I’m itching for the start of the new football season.

I’m itching for Christmas because I really love it and my daughter will come home.

I’d give my right arm for something

You want something really badly and you’d be happy (in a way) for your arm to be cut off and taken away if you got something. Very very informal.


I’d give my right arm to win the lotto.

I’d give my right arm to get that promotion that I’d been hoping for for weeks.

Here are the other alternatives that you can use instead of want. Let me go through them one more time:

  • I wish
  • I hope
  • I long for
  • I crave
  • I desire
  • I lust after (be very very careful how you use this one)
  • I fancy
  • I feel like
  • I have my heart set on something
  • I feel in the mood
  • I have my eye on something
  • I have something in mind
  • I’m itching for something
  • I’d give my right arm for something

So that’s the lesson for today.

If you want to contact me, you can do so on

If you or any of your friends or colleagues or family members want to learn English on a one-to-one basis, or indeed in small groups or for the kids, please contact me.

Thanks for joining. Thanks for listening and see you again soon.

More information

For more information on English grammar rules, English collocations and English idioms, check out the links below:

20 English expressions and idioms with TALK

10 English adjectives to describe jobs

You can always study English advanced level at Learning English with the BBC.

You will love these English lessons