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I think the French ce qui/que says it better. This is what I mean:

I do what I want. (Je fais ce que je veux, in French)

How would the 'what' be translated?

  • Probably use "this" or "that" as a filler in Chinese. Like: 我做这个我想做的, 我想做那个我想做的. – Shaw Jun 11 '20 at 20:39
  • I see. Is it optional? – Cookie Dough Jun 12 '20 at 7:46
  • Yes, it is optional, chinese hate wordy sentences. Or the translation can go like this: 我做我想做的(事) – Shaw Jun 14 '20 at 20:33
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You can say 我做我想做的. Here I use 我想做的 to represent things that I want to do. Since I use I use 我做, I use 做 after 想。 If I want to say that I drink what I want. I would say 我喝我想喝的。 Here I use 我喝 so I use 喝 after 想 too.

If you want to simplify it, you can say 我做我想要的(I do what I want).

  • So 的 nominalises 我想做 and 我想喝? Oh yeah, I never considered that. Thanks – Cookie Dough Jun 11 '20 at 14:45
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If you are doing something somehow bad:

我为所欲为。

I always think of 所 as 'thatwhich' but it may be 'this' or 'what'

  • Interesting translation, I wonder how it compares to the more "direct" translation above – information_interchange Jun 13 '20 at 20:40

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