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5.7: Lesson 4 Grammar - Expressing "would like to" with 想 (xiǎng)

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    If you want to express something that you "would like to do," 想 (xiǎng) will be a very helpful auxiliary verb to know. Although similar to 要 (yào), 想 (xiǎng) will give you another more tactful option when you want to articulate a desire.

    The verb 想 (xiǎng) can be used to express "would like to." In this case it's an auxiliary verb.


       Subj. + 想 + Verb (+ Obj.)


    • 你想去吗?
      Nǐ xiǎng qù ma?
      Would you like to go?
    • 我想吃面。
      Wǒ xiǎng chī miàn.
      I would like to eat noodles.
    • 你想喝水吗?
      Nǐ xiǎng hē shuǐ ma?
      Would you like to drink some water?
    • 我们想看电视。
      Wǒmen xiǎng kàn diànshì.
      We would like to watch TV.
    • 他想买一个大房子。
      Tā xiǎng mǎi yī gè dà fángzi.
      He would like to buy a big apartment.

    Negate 想 (xiǎng) with 不 (bù) 

    No surprises here: use 不 (bù) to negate 想 (xiǎng).


       Subj. + 不 + 想 + Verb + Obj.


    • 他们不想去酒吧。
      Tāmen bù xiǎng qù jiǔbā.
      They wouldn't like to go to the bar.
    • 你不想认识这个美女吗?
      Nǐ bù xiǎng rènshi zhège měinǚ ma?
      Would you not like to know this beautiful lady?
    • 我不想回家。
      Wǒ bù xiǎng huíjiā.
      I wouldn't like to return home.
    • 那个地方很近,我不想开车。
      Nàge dìfang hěn jìn, wǒ bù xiǎng kāichē.
      That place is so close. I would not like to drive.
    • 他不想花父母的钱。
      Tā bù xiǎng huā fùmǔ de qián.
      He would not like to spend his parents' money.

    [adapted from AllSet Learning Chinese Grammar Wiki, Creative Commons License BY-NC-SA 3.0]

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    Any Questions? 

    If you have any questions about this grammar point, please ask in the class forums!

    This page titled 5.7: Lesson 4 Grammar - Expressing "would like to" with 想 (xiǎng) is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Carl Polley (裴凯).