Take the 2-minute tour ×
Chinese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Chinese language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Could someone please give we a hint when to use either of those?!

My take is that 想 is used for actions and 喜欢 for things!? Am I right?

share|improve this question

5 Answers 5

In short, means "think (of)" when followed by noun phrases or clauses, and "want to" when followed by verb phrases, while 喜欢 simply means "like / be fond of" in all cases.

Some details:

  1. When followed by nouns/pronouns,

    • means "think of / consider" or "miss", for example:

      我在想你 = I am missing you; 我在想这个问题 = I am considering this question.

    • 喜欢 means "like", for example:

      我喜欢你 = I like you

  2. When followed by verb phrases,

    • means "want to (do)", for example:

      我想吃鱼 = I want to eat fish

    • 喜欢 means "like to (do)" or "like (doing)", expressing non-momentary preference, hence not "would like to (do)", for example:

      我喜欢吃鱼 = I like eating fish

  3. When followed by clauses,

    • means "think (that)", for example:

      我想他不会来了 = I think (that) he won't come.

      Two relevant notes here:

      a. When 想要 is followed by clauses, it doesn't mean "think (that)", but "want A to do", where A is the subject of the following clause, for example:

      我想要他唱 = I want him to sing.

      BTW, a few native speakers may feel that 想要 in this usage is interchangeable with .

      b. When 不想(要), in which "要" can be omitted, is followed by clauses, it doesn't mean "not think (that)", but "not want A to do", where A is the subject of the following clause, for example:

      我不想(要)你来 = I do not want you to come.

    • 喜欢 means "like it that", for example:

      我喜欢你这样做 = I like it that you do it this way

share|improve this answer
1  
The answer by @user3306356 reminded me that this answer lacked a brief summary at the beginning. Thanks for that. –  Noir May 17 at 0:20
    
Thanks for the detailed answer. These permutations in meaning had puzzeld me a lot. –  user137313 May 18 at 8:18

想 has several meanings:

  1. think(想法)
  2. suppose(想来)
  3. miss(想念)
  4. want to(想要)

喜欢 as a verb, it means to like or to love.

share|improve this answer

Because I find the other answers a little overwhelming and unclear I'm going to add my own two-cents:

[and the reason for my explanation being based completely on the confusion found in OP's question]

想 is just a shortened form of 想要 meaning "to want"

喜欢 means "to like"

·I like chocolate = 我喜欢巧克力

·I want to eat chocolate = 我想吃巧克力

share|improve this answer

We use想for the meaning of thinking,as 我想去中国 I want to go to China. We use喜欢for the meaning of like,as 我喜欢中国 I like China.

share|improve this answer

想 means think of (something or doing something)

喜欢 means to like (something or doing something or someone).

To answer your question,

想 isn't necessarily used for actions, it could also be "thinking of something or someone"

喜欢 isn't necessarily used for things, it could also be "like" doing something"

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.