I want that you learn German

Just a quick post today. I want to teach you a construction that often trips people up.

How would you say in German, I want you to jump? It’s not so easy is it?

There are seemingly lots of possibilities:

Ich will du springen.Incorrect
Ich will dich springen.Incorrect
Ich will du springst.Incorrect
Ich will dich springst.Incorrect
Ich will du zu springen.Incorrect
Ich will dich zu springen.Incorrect

Constructions like this, where somebody is expressing their desire for a different subject to perform an action, are translated using a separate clause. A clause is just a part of a sentence introduced by a word like that, and, which, who, therefore etc.

In German, you literally say, “I want that you jump.” And you will often hear Germans say this sort of thing when they speak English.

I want you to jump
(I want that you jump.)
Ich will, dass du springst.
I want him to be here.
(I want that he is here.)
Ich will, dass er hier ist.
I want England to win the World Cup.
(I want that England wins the World Cup.)
Ich will, dass England die Weltmeisterschaft gewinnt.
I want you to learn German.
(I want that you learn German.)
Ich will, dass du Deutsch lernst.

That’s pretty much it. Just remember that you want that someone else does something, and you’re golden!