So here is a riddle for you.

A friend of mine asked me: 你想要我改正你的汉语?

To which I (with glee) responded: 一定想要

To this, he said that I can only say 一定想 or 一定要 but not 一定想要.

So, why can he use 想要 in the question, but I can't use it in my answer?

Are there other verbs where this happens?

Your thoughts please :-)

2 Answers 2


Here is some example

想要知道怎麼用> want to know how to use it.

想要說好漢語>want to speak Chinese well.

想要了解這件事情>want to know about this thing.

In this case , we usually respond 想要啊(啊 is like Umm,ya!,Wow.It is a tone.) or 想要. We do not say 一定想要.If you really want to say 一定想要 in Chinese .We say 當然想(Of course,I want!).

The example of 想

我想玩>I want to play.
我想昨天在做甚麼>I think what did I do yesterday.
我想做功課>I want to do homework.

The example of 要

我要玩>I want to play.
我要昨天在做甚麼(x)>I want what did I do yesterday.(x)
我要做功課>I need to do homework.


Because 一定想要 is hard to be present alone. 一定想要 typically exist with other things. For example, 他人不一定想要, 這樣發朋友圈的女生一定想要男人, 他們到不一定想要馬上定下來或進入婚姻, and tones of example can be found with google with "一定想要" on search bar. These example shows that people use 一定想要 with other things together. It is hard to found 一定想要 exist along. Therefore, your friend can do it in his question but not in your reply. Your friends question have 你 before 想要. while your reply only have 一定想要 exist alone. You can remove 一定 so that you can use 想要 too.

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