What it means:
Attaching the grammatical principle -고 싶다 to the root of a verb or adjective in Korean means that you want to do that verb or you want to be that adjective. It’s as simple as that.
How to attach it:
-고 싶다 attaches right onto the root of a verb or adjective, regardless of whether it ends in a consonant or vowel, or ㅗ or ㅏ or any of that nonsense.
An important thing to note is that when you use this construction to speak about the past or future tense, you don’t make any change to the verb/adjective root that -고 is being attached to. You indicate the tense via the conjugation of the word 싶다.
봄날 (Spring Day):
보고 싶다. ~ “I miss you.”
The literal translation of this sentence is “I want to see you”, but that’s how to say “I miss you” in Korean.
Original verb: 보다 – to see, to look at
난 숨쉬고 싶어. 이 밤이 싫어. ~ “I want to breathe. I hate this night.”
Original verb: 숨 쉬다 – to breathe
What Am I To You:
널 이기고 싶던 건 아니었지만 계속 지고 싶지도 않았어. ~ “It wasn’t that I wanted to beat you, but I didn’t want to keep losing either.”
Original verbs: 이기다 – to win & 지다 – to use
War of Hormone:
네게 다가서고 싶지만 너무 심하게 아름다워. ~ “I want to approach you, but you’re so terribly beautiful.”
Original verb: 다가서다 – to approach, to step towards
Daydream (by j-hope):
사랑에 설레고 싶은 거 ~ “I want to be stirred by love.”
Original adjective: 설레다 – for the heart to be fluttering, palptating