I learned both of these words recently. I asked a Chinese friend what is the difference, and she told me they are "almost the same". I'm wondering how strong the "almost" is here. How interchangeable are 满意 and 满足?

  • intransitive "to be satisfied" or adj vs transitive "to satisfy" – Stumpy Joe Pete Apr 16 at 22:37
  • Which is which? – Dark Malthorp Apr 16 at 22:54
  • 满意 and 满足, in that order – Stumpy Joe Pete Apr 16 at 22:57
  • Thanks. Can 满足 also be used intransitively, and if so what's the difference in meaning from 满意? – Dark Malthorp Apr 16 at 22:59
  • 滿意 is an emotion. 滿足 is for fulfilling/satisfying some criteria. You can't say 滿意 to tick off a checklist, that'd be like saying are your requirements happy/content?. – dROOOze Apr 17 at 1:09

满 = to fulfill; to satisfy

意 = mind; intend; desire; idea

满意 = be satisfied (of a desire); happy with


希望我們的服務能使你感到满意 = Hope our service can make you feel satisfied (happy/ satisfied in your mind)

我們已經給你最好的服務,還不满意? = We have given you the best service and you are still not satisfied? (unhappy/ not satisfied in your mind)

我們已經給你最好的服務,還不满足? = We have given you the best service and you are still not satisfied? (still want more)


足 = enough

满足 = 1. to satisfy (a need) 2. be satisfied (of one's need)


每小時十五美元的工資無法满足生活需求 = A wage of fifteen dollars per hour cannot satisfy/ meet the cost of living

非法民工有七美元一小時的工資就很满足了 = Illegal migrant workers are satisfied/ content with a salary of seven dollars an hour (a need is satisfied/ don't feel needing more)

非法民工有七美元一小時的工資就很满意了 = Illegal migrant workers are satisfied /happy with a salary of seven dollars an hour (a desire is satisfied/fulfilled)

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  • I, for one, am quite content with a wage of 15$/hr, but this does answer my question, thank you :) – Dark Malthorp Apr 17 at 2:31
  • 满足 = content, good suggestion – Tang Ho Apr 17 at 2:33

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