Why is it correct to leave out 'gå' here? Intuitively it sounds like it should be: "Spädbarnet vill gå till sin mamma", but I've seen it like this before.
In fact, Spädbarnet vill gå till sin mamma would not be correct, since the baby cannot walk, and vill gå presupposes walking on foot (not necessarily walking all the way, but some walking must be involved – Jag vill gå hem means I want to go home, but you can't say that unless you intend to walk some of the way. Let's say you're in New Zealand and want to go home to Sweden: walking will not be a significant part of your returning home, therefore you can't say Jag vill gå hem in that case, you'd have to say Jag vill åka hem – however if you're at a friend's house and you want to go home, you can say jag vill gå hem even if you're going to drive or take the bus, as long as you're focusing on the leaving part, where you'll actually be walking out the door).
We very often say vill + direction or goal, to indicate that we want to get somewhere without specifying how we'll get there.
Just to see if I got it right: Basically if it's possible to walk you can use 'gå', but you usually wouldn't, right?
We do use gå a lot, more often than the constructions without a verb. It's a question about focus. Like, Det är dags att gå till skolan 'It's time to go to school.' Focus on getting up and leaving. – If you want to go somewhere abroad, you'd most likely say Jag vill åka till …, 'I want to go to' …, but you can also say Jag vill till … if you focus more on the goal.
Ok, thanks. I think I understand now :) Actually, one could say 'Jag vill till ...' in my own language (Dutch) when going to a place, but it's not so common to use when going to a person. That's probably why it sounded both a bit intuitive and a bit off.
Maybe you have less restrictions on go in Dutch in cases like this, at least English has. As far as I can tell, vill till sin mamma is pretty much the only option for an infant in Swedish, since åka doesn't really cut it either… Well ok, there's one more, komma could work too. Han vill komma till sin mamma, ’he wants to come to his mom’.
Depends on what you mean. If it's her own mom, then sin mamma. If it's someone else's mom, then hennes mamma.
Yes, or its or their depending on what you prefer. It's definitely the kid's own mom.
When the possessive pronoun refers back to the subject, and the subject is han/hon/hen or de, it must be sin/sitt/sina. So if you say hans, it couldn't be the baby's own mother.
Why is "the baby wants to his mom" incorrect? The meaning is identical and it has more sense than "the baby wants to GO to his mom".
Because "wants to his mom" is not grammatically correct in english. If you say to in this context you need some form of verb. The baby want to BE WITH his mom, the baby want to GO TO his mom, the baby wants to BATTLE his mom... etc. If you mean "wants his mom" I think it wouldn't be accepted because that is not what the Swedish is saying. As mentioned above it may be focusing on leaving where he is to go to his mother instead of wanting her in general.
In British English we would often talk of a baby wanting his mummy, not his mum. Just as Americans would say mommy about small children and mom would be used by older children. However, I was marked wrong for putting 'mummy' rather than 'mum. Puzzling
Vill by itself is any kind of wanting, it depends on what verb comes after it. 'Vill ha' specifically is 'want to have'.
E.g. Jag vill [ha] pasta = I want [to have] pasta.
Jag vill [gå] till festen = I want [to go] to the party