Does 'willen graag' always mean 'would like to have' rather than just 'would like' even without hebben in there?
"Graag" is a difficult word to translate. It's an adverb and when used with verbs that mean "to want", it can mean two different things: that you are trying to be polite, or that you want it really badly. It is usually clear from the context which one of the two is meant. In the first case, a good translation would be the more polite "would like". In the latter case, "graag" is usually amplified to "heel graag" and then there is no suggestion of politeness. For example, "Zij willen heel graag een olifant" would mean "They really want an elephant".
As a side note: when used with other verbs, "graag" typically means "willingly, gladly". This is most commonly seen in the expression "graag gedaan!" (notoriously difficult to pronounce if you have trouble with the Dutch g sound), meaning "you're welcome!". The literal translation is "gladly done!".
I wrote the translation answer, They want an elephant gladly. Perhaps, this sentence isn't really common in English daily conversation, however, should this be correct too?
So would "They really want an elephant." be a wrong translation here? That's what I typed and it wasn't accepted.
But it sounds like you think so for didactic reasons, not for reasons of actual usage...you emphasized "graag" in politeness functions without "heel". Did I understand you right?
"They really want something", is a little bit stronge than " iets graag willen". Realing wanting something should be translated into "Werkelijk iets willen "
If 'willen' and 'graag' both mean 'want/would like' then why are both used in the same sentence? Can I say 'zij willen een olifant' or 'zij graag een olifant' instead?
That is the first time I have seen "They'd" in a sentence before, totally threw me off. Ha. Always glad to learn something new. :)
can someone please tell me when to know if its 'she' or 'they' in zij? i find it difficult , perhaps i took the translate literally
Sometimes, in some sentences "Zij" means "She" and "Ze" means "They" but why here Zij means "They"?