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The differences between “xiǎng” and “xiǎng yào”

Chinese words, learning Chinese, Chinese grammar

The Chinese words 想 (xiǎng) and 想要 (xiǎngyào) can seem very similar, which makes them difficult to use properly. They do have distinct meanings and uses though.

中文词语"想"和"想要"非常相似,使得学习者很难正确使用它们。不过,这两个词还是有不同的意义和用法。

 

想, and 想要 can all mean 'want' in some sense, but 想 is less forceful.

"想"和"想要"某种意义上都可以表达"want"的意思,但是"想"的强度较小。

 

As always, remember that the best way to get a real feel for the language (语感) is to expose yourself to it as much as possible, and to practice using it as much as possible.

你要记住,掌握实实在在的语感的最好方法是尽量让自己沉浸于语言环境中,尽可能使用该语言进行练习。

 

想 + verb as 'would like to'

 

In many cases, it might be better to think of 想 as 'would like to' rather than 'want'. When used for expressing wants, 想 can only be followed by a verb or verb phrase. In other words, 想 only means 'want' when it's an auxiliary verb.

许多情况下,把"想"当做"would like to"而不是"want"可能更好。当要表达需求的时候,"想"只能跟上动词或动词词组。换句话说,作为助动词时,"想"的意思只是"want"。

 

If you use 想 directly with a noun, it means something a bit different (see below).

要是你直接用"想"跟上名词的话,它的意思会有所不同(如下)。

 

Have a look at some example sentences:

看看一些例句:

 

我想去巴黎。

wǒ xiǎng qù bālí.

I'd like to go to Paris.

 

我想吃鲁菜。

wǒ xiǎng chī lǔcài.

I'd like to eat some Shandong food.

 

我不想见她。

wǒ bùxiǎng jiàn tā.

I don't want to see her.

 

Notice in each example 想 is followed by a verb.

注意下每个例子里的"想"都跟着动词。

 

By using 想, the speakers only express their desire, but they don't specify their actual intention. They may or may not achieve the thing.

用到"想"的时候,说话者只是表达他们的渴望,但并没有具体说明他们实际的意图。他们可能会也可能不会完成那件事。

 

Have a look at some examples that illustrate this point:

看看一些阐明这一点的例子:

 

他想回家,可是最后他没有。

tā xiǎng huí jiā, kěshì zuìhòu tā méiyǒu.

He wanted to go home, but in the end he didn't.

 

她想买辆自行车,所以就买了。

tā xiǎng mǎi liàng zìxíngchē, suǒyǐ jiù mǎile.

She wanted to buy a bike, so she did.

 

As you can see, simply expressing the want with 想 isn't enough to confirm what happened in the end or what the actual intention was.

正如你所见,仅仅用"想"表达渴望的话并不确定最终发生的事或者实际的意图

 

想 as 'to think'

 

想 can mean 'to think', either as 'to believe' or 'to consider'. Have a look at some example sentences:

"想"有"to think"的意思,可以是"to believe"或者"to consider"。看看一些例句:

 

我想你没去过吧?

wǒ xiǎng nǐ méi qùguò ba?

I think you haven't been before, right?

 

我想他应该不知道。

wǒ xiǎng tā yīnggāi bù zhīdào.

I think he probably doesn't know.

 

想 as 'to think of' and 'to miss'

 

Finally, let's look at another meaning of 想. That is 想 as in 想念: 'to think of' or 'to miss'.

最后,一起看看"想"的另外一个意思,那就是"想念",即"to think of"或"to miss"。

 

Have a look at some examples:

看看一些例子:

 

我想你。

wǒ xiǎng nǐ.

I miss you.

 

我很想念她。

wǒ hěn xiǎngniàn tā.

I really miss her.

 

We mentioned above that if you use 想 directly with a noun, it means something a little different. The example sentences above demonstrate that. When used with a noun, 想 means 'to miss' or 'to think of', and not 'to want'.

之前我们提到要是直接用"想"跟上名词的话,它的意思会有所不同,以上的例句就说明了这一点。"想"和名词使用的时候,它的意思就成了"to miss"或"to think of"而不是"to want"。

 

想要: to desire, to want

 

The verb 想要 is more trickier, because it has quite a broad range of intensity. It can range from expressing a simple want or request, to a strong desire for something.

动词"想要"比较复杂,因为它的强度范围很广,既可以表达一个简单的渴望或要求,也可以表达对某事的强烈需求。

 

Have a look at some examples:

看看一些例子:

 

我想要些苹果。

wǒ xiǎng yào xiē píngguǒ.

I want some apples.

 

我想要预约在今天下午5点。

wǒ xiǎng yào yùyuē zài jīntiān xiàwǔ 5 diǎn.

I'd like to make an appointment for today at 5pm.

 

我真想要看一看尼亚加拉瀑布。

wǒ zhēn xiǎngyào kàn yī kàn níyǎjiālā pùbù.

I really want to see Niagara Falls.

 

As you can see, you've got to be pretty sure the context is clear when using 想要.

正如你所见,用"想要"的时候,你得确保你所说的语境是明确的。

 

Translated from: Chinese Boost

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2016-06-21

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