What's the difference between 'Volo' and 'Velim'?
I realise that one is indicative and the other subjunctive, but I'm confused as to what those actually mean in practice, especially with a verb like 'want'. Either seems to get accepted in every context I've tried with Duolingo. Can anyone provide examples of when you might use one instead of the other?
But this is rationalizing backwards, from French.
If you study the entries under the verb volo, velle, volui in a complete dictionary (like the Oxford Latin Dictionary), you'll see that "I want" (volo) is the verbal mood that governs food items and other direct objects. The subjunctive velim tends to govern entire subordinate clauses (Velim [ut] huc venias, "I would like for you to come here").
There's also the whole "present subjunctive in conditional sentences looking to the future," as in Crustula velim, si mihi ea offeras, "I would like cookies, if you should offer them to me".