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  5. "我们想要两个牛肉面。"


Translation:We would like two servings of beef noodles.

December 2, 2017



Why are both verbs used here: 想要, and not just one of them?


想要 is a third verb of its own which consists of two syllables and two characters: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E6%83%B3%E8%A6%81


Thank you for your answer, however even after reading the link I don't understand the nuances that distinguish ,要, and from each other. I gather that 想 is a but more polite, as duolingo sometimes (but not always!) translates it as "would like" instead of "want". Is 想要 even more polite? How do I decide which to use? Thanks for any light you can shed.


I guess my Chinese is only the tiniest bit better than yours, if anything. To me the nuances are still too fuzzy too. I treat 想 and 想要 as "would like" and 要 as "want", except that I know 要 has some other meanings too, on which I'm also still a bit fuzzy.


as a verb has many meanings and it's sometimes tricky to use. Here I have some examples:

  • want (would like) to have:
    我要一个苹果。I want (would like) an apple.
    我们要两碗牛肉面。We want (would like) two bowls of beef noodles.
    In this situation, 要 can be replaced by 想要:我要一个苹果 = 我想要一个苹果

  • auxiliary, plan to do, willing to do:
    我要学游泳。I want to learn to swim.
    我要喝水。I want to drink water.

The negative form of this sentence is 我不想:
In this situation, you can replace 要 with 想 or 想要, they all mean the same: 我想喝水 = 我要喝水 = 我想要喝水

  • auxiliary, should, need to:
    外面很滑,你要小心。It's slippery outside, you need to be careful.
    去生日聚会,你要带些礼物。You should bring some gifts with you to the birthday party.

  • need:
    做这件裙子要多少布? How much cloth do you need to make this dress?
    从天津到北京要两小时。It takes two hours from Tianjin to Beijing.

  • auxiliary, will:
    我今天要去朋友家。I'm going to my friend's home today.
    明天要下雨。It will rain tomorrow.


@ JB113.. and @KentaroT.V: 想 is less strong and more polite. 要 is more direct and 想要 can mean several things among which sexual desire. For beginners I would think it is best to avoid 想要。For a more comprehensive description visit: https://www.chineseboost.com/grammar/xiang3-yao4-xiang3yao4-difference/


In this sentence, 想要 means would like, you use it when you want to order something in a restaurant or to buy something from someone, let's say at the market.

  • to the waiter: 我想要一份北京烤鸭。I would like a serving of Peking duck.

  • to the shop owner: 我想要两个青椒。I would like two green bell peppers.


There's nothing in this sentence to specify "bowls". "Plates" should also be acceptable.


Beef noodles is typically served in a bowl filled with broth. How could that be served on a plate? Have you ever had tomato soup/clam chowder served on a plate?

Having said that you do have a good point: you normally say two bowls of beef noodles in Chinese; 兩碗牛肉麵. That's more common than 兩個牛肉麵


I don't think 两个牛肉面 is correct Chinese, this should practically always be another classifier such as 碗


That is. Chinese usually use 碗 to orders noodles, rice,...


It also accepts "servings" and i just suggested they add "serves".


verigby, I have eaten many bowls of beef and noodles in China. I have also eaten many plates of beef and noodles. The latter were served with a thicker sauce, but still beef and noodles. Depends on the restaurant. Yer teachin' gramma to suck eggs here. :-)


But wasn't that fried noodles? Chinese would see that as quite different.

Yer teachin' gramma to suck eggs here. :-) my apologies then. I wouldn't want to 班門弄斧


We would like two orders of beef noodles should also be accepted.


As this does not have a specific serving, it could be either sets; bowls; plates. It shouldnt be exclusive to bowls.


You can use the word "portion". It is more general (like the word 个)and is considered right by this course

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I think in English we would say ''two orders of beef noodles'' and let the restaurant worry about how they serve it.


Why can't Duolingo take a minute to start teaching some basic count words? 两个牛肉面 should be 两碗牛肉面 if they want bowls or 盤 if they want plates....


Chinese 牛肉面 usually refers to a bowl of beef noodle soup. Shouldn't Duolingo also accept it as "bowls of beef noodle soup?"


Lol am I the only one who omitted saying "plate" and "bowl"? i just said "two beef noodles" cos that's how it is on the menu.


"We'll have two beef noodles" is certainly how a native speaker might say it. One of the problems with this beta version, and the reason we need to keep reporting when something strikes us as wrong, is that it sometimes will only accept a literal translation, while at other times it accepts a colloquial translation that is much more the way native speakers might talk. I think their English translations should be called correct if the key ideas in the Chinese have been understood. This means that when the literal Chinese translation is "I will give you return phone call." then "I will phone you back" or even "I'll get back to you." should be accepted. Insisting that "ni men" should be translated as "you guys" just turns the translation into Chinglish. We very seldom say "you guys". They need our help to improve the program, so let's keep reporting.


In English "two noodles" means "two strands". You usually can't translate Chinese to English word by word, and even more so on menus.


"We would like to have two beef noodle dishes" was marked wrong. There is nothing specifying "bowls" in the Chinese. Just "beef noodle" but to say "We would like to have two beef noodle" is not grammatical English. Anything--bowl, plate, dishes should be accepted to make a proper English sentence


There is nothing in this sentence about 'bowls'; I was 'wrong' for saying 2 dishes of beef noodles.


What's wrong with "two orders"? Nothing specified bowls!


Why is "noodles with beef" wrong and "beef noodles" right?


"We would like two beef noodles" should also be accepted. It may serve to remind learners of the importance of measure words, but colloquially I can ask for two curries, two soups, two cokes, two "spaghettis", two "fried rices," etc. While I might add "orders of" spaghetti/fried rice/beef noodles, or something similar, it's a common use for a lower linguistic register.


In a bowl " is implicit


"Want" or "would like"?


Maybe it's like the name of the meal on the menu: "we would like two beef noodles, please."

Much like ordering other things: I'll take one salmon with a side of vegetables, she'll have a beef taco. It only works if there is no other thing on the menu that's similar in type of meat.


This is not very polite saying I want this or that without saying please... Don't you think birdy?


what is the difference between 想 要 and 想 or 要 ?


A couple of bowls is the same as two bowls.


because it only says 肉面 shouldn't it be literally beef bread?


no, 面 is noodles. Beef noodles are a common dish in the north. My hubby is from Gansu and the beef noodles are in a broth and soooo good.


I am from viet nam


We want two lamb noodles, because in English ou do not have to specify servings.


orders should all so be allowed .. two orders = two servings


I want it should be accepted


I just want to share that when I use the numeral 2 when saying "...2 servings of beef noodles" it is not accepted by the computer. Duolingo, I hope you could fix this.


I used 份 which I thought was correct for portions or serves of something. While I use 碗 for rice, I use 份 pretty often in restaurants here. Can 份 be used generically for a serve of something, for example if you don't know if it comes on a plate or in a bowl, or because you are flustered and trying to remember how to order egg fried noodles...? I know it CAN be used in the sense that they bring me a plate of egg fried noodles, but would a local possibly use 份 or will rice/noodles/soup always be 碗? How do you know when to use 碗 vs 份 vs 盘?


There's nothing in this sentence to specify "bowls". "Plates" should also be acceptable.


I don't think I ever got noodles on a plate anywhere in China though. Even when I ordered them "dry".


You don't say 'beef noodles' in English. The expression is 'beef and noodles' (which you marked 'wrong')! 'Beef noodles' just sounds weird in English!


I wrote “like” instead of “would like” and it marked me wrong。

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