Skip to main content
Humanities LibreTexts

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

  • Page ID
    66589
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

    \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    ( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\)

    \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\)

    \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\)

    \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\)

    \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\)

    \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorA}[1]{\vec{#1}}      % arrow\)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorAt}[1]{\vec{\text{#1}}}      % arrow\)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorB}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorC}[1]{\textbf{#1}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorD}[1]{\overrightarrow{#1}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorDt}[1]{\overrightarrow{\text{#1}}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectE}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash{\mathbf {#1}}}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

    \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)

    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.

    Structure 

       Subj. + 想 + Verb (+ Obj.)

    Examples 

    • 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).

    Structure 

       Subj. + 不 + 想 + Verb + Obj.

    Examples 

    • 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]

    *     *     *

    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).