Hello, if the use of vouloir in the past tense is closer to tried, how do you say « i wanted to... » ? There is a reasonable difference between meanings in English e.g. i wanted to go shopping and I tried to go shopping...
You would use the imparfait:
Je voulais faire les courses. -- I wanted to go shopping.
Chris is right.
Vouloir (Imparfait) : je voulais faire les courses = I wanted to go shopping
Vouloir (Passé-Composé) : j'ai voulu faire les courses = I tried to go shopping
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