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I want to express that I would like to write a book before I turn 40.

I want to know which among the below listed is best way to express this thought and which among them are grammatically incorrect.

I would like to write a book before I turn 40.

I want to write a book before I turn 40.

I want to have written a book before I turn 40.

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    None of them are grammatically incorrect. The first two are identical in meaning. The third could be used to describe the same situation, but the focus is on the fact that your desire is really not to write, but to have the writing part be over. Jul 31, 2019 at 23:02

2 Answers 2

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I want to write a book before I turn 40.

You're being direct and assertive.

I would like to write a book before I turn 40.

You're being polite or wishful, or implying "I would like to write a book before I turn 40 if possible".

I want to have written a book before I turn 40.

You're wanting some time to pass between you writing the book and you turning 40. This also could be construed as you caring about being known for writing a book a bit more than caring about the actual book.

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They're all fine in terms of grammar. If you want to express that you would like to write a book before you turn 40, option 1 seems to me the way to go. My sense is that "would like" is softer than "want," and maybe less intentional.

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