I have stumbled on the following sentences:

  1. Ich möchte gern ins Fernsehen.
  2. Ich möchte gern zum Theater.

I am surprised by the structure, as it sounds to me like a verb is missing somewhere. For example, I would understand better a sentence like "Ich möchte gern ins Fernsehen arbeiten".

Can you please explain the structure and the meaning of these sentences to me ?

  • 2
    "Ich möchte gern ins Fernsehen arbeiten" is wrong. It should be "Ich möchte gern beim Fernsehen arbeiten" – πάντα ῥεῖ Jun 9 '20 at 18:05
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    @DavidVogt This. Plus "ins Fernsehen gehen" und "zum/ans Theater gehen" = "im Fernsehen/Theater auftreten/einen TV- bzw. Bühnen-Beruf ergreifen". Only "ins Theater/Kino" would would be used when you want to sit in the audience – Hagen von Eitzen Jun 9 '20 at 20:26
  • @ πάντα ῥεῖ, @ Hagen, danke schön für diese Antworten ! – Sylvain Gadenne Jun 10 '20 at 10:36

Since "möchte" is a modal verb, you'd expect it to have an infinitive at the end of the sentence. But in spoken language the infinitive is often dropped, when the meaning is clear. For example: "Kannst du Französisch?" Of course in written language this won't be acceptable, you'd have to add "sprechen". Also, "möchten" and even more so "mögen" are sometimes used in a verb+noun structure without an additional infinitive. E.g.: Ich mag französische Musik. Ich möchte ein Eis.

  • @ Count von Kramm, danke schön für diese Antwort ! It is still a bit confusing to me, as here the meaning does not seem so clear to me. For instance, in the sentence "Ich möchte gern zum Theater", how do we know if the person wants to "go" in the Theater, or to "arbeit" in Theater (as a carreer), and so on. – Sylvain Gadenne Jun 10 '20 at 10:38
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    @SylvainGadenne The phrase 'Ich möchte zum ...' always implies gehen (sources needed). Another example is Ich möchte zum Direktor. - if you want to say that you want to become the director, you should explitly say so, because this sentence means you want to go to him. – kscherrer Jun 10 '20 at 12:38
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    @SylvainGadenne: Firstly, I think there will always be enough context for you to know wether someone is asking for directions or talking about a future career. Secondly, I'm not sure we would say "ich möchte zum Theater" when talking about a career, rather "ich möchte ans Theater". Or something else altogether, like "Ich möchte im Theaterbereich arbeiten" or so. – Count von Kramm Jun 10 '20 at 13:09
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    Building on what @kscherrer said, in some specific areas "ich möchte zum …" can mean you are talking about your future career rather than „gehen“ in a physical sense. Which specific areas you ask? Well, off the top of my head, I’d say „Ich möchte später mal zum Film/zur Bahn/zur Polizei.“ I would say though, that this is not the most common way we talk about career paths. I guess it would be more common to name the specific „Beruf“ or subject of studies you’re after. – Count von Kramm Jun 10 '20 at 13:18
  • @ kscherrer, @ Count von Kramm, thank you very much for enlightening me ! So I guess I will use that structure only for "gehen" in the future, so as to avoid any mistakes. Thanks for your help ! – Sylvain Gadenne Jun 11 '20 at 18:03

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