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Hteti - Will or Want?

One of the frequent questions is how to translate Serbian "hteti" into English?

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Hteti - Will or Want?

The simple truth is that the verb "hteti" can be translated into English in both ways, either will or want to, or even wish. The best way is to learn through some examples.

Želeti vs. Hteti

  1. Hoćeš li mi  pomoći? Will you help me? (pure future ) - Hoću! Pomoći ću ti (Yes, I'll help you)
  2. Hoćeš li prestati već jednom? Will you stop it once and for all? - Neću! (I won't)
  3. Hoćeš li da mi pomogneš? Do you want to help me? (a bit stronger than "want") - Naravno! Of course! Svakako! Sure! 
  4. Da li hoćeš da idemo u Beograd? Do you want us to go to Belgrade?
  5. Želiš li da mi pomogneš? Do you wish/want to help me? (a bit more like "wish" than "want") - Kako da ne! Sure!
  6. Šta želiš da ti kupim u Beogradu? What do you want me to buy you in Belgrade?

Accepting and Declining 


The other set of useful phrases which we can learn from is how to best respond to questions starting with "Will you?" or "Do you want to....?"

Prihvatanje/potvrđivanje = Accepting
  • Naravno
  • Svakako
  • Nema problema
  • Kako da ne
  • Hoću (if the question starts with Hoćeš li...?)
  • Želim (if the question starts with Želiš li...?)
  • Da
  • Jašta (colloquial + archaic, but fun)
Odbijanje = Declining

  • Nema šanse (no way)
  • Nikako (no way)
  • Neću / Ne želim
  • Ne, hvala (no, thanks)
  • Jok (colloquial + archaic, but fun)


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