Could someone explain to explain me the difference between the three verbs 喜欢 (xihuan), 要 (yao), and 想 (xiang)?

  • 我喜欢喝一杯啤酒。 (wo xihuan he yi bei pi jiu)

  • 我要喝一杯啤酒。 (wo yao he yi bei pi jiu)

  • 我想喝一杯啤酒。 (wo xiang he yi bei pi jiu)

When do I have to use it?

  • 1
    consult grammar on modal verbs (能愿动词)表示意愿的:要、想、愿意、肯、敢,and dictionary on verb 喜欢
    – user6065
    Feb 11, 2016 at 13:21
  • the first sentence doesn't make sense. it should be "我wo3喜xi3欢huan1喝he1啤pi2酒jiu3", which means I like drinking beer. Your original sentence "我喜欢喝一杯啤酒" means I like drinking one glass of beer (not two glasses, not three glasses, I like drinking exactly one glass of beer) the last two sentences, however, sounds correct to me.
    – zypA13510
    Feb 11, 2016 at 16:54

1 Answer 1


喜欢(xi3 huan1) means to like

要(yao4) tends to realize the action

想(xiang3) means to want, but you don't have to realize it. Sometimes it is just an expression of your desire.

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