"I would like to order."


January 9, 2018

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It is quite confusing how 想 and 要 are used sometimes interchangably sometimes not. I may not have grasped the subtilities but it seems to me that the allowed translations are not entirely consistent. Note that I do not use the simplified word-list input but free text, and so really need to understand what words to use as opposed to eliminating obviously wrong alternatives.


I think a helpful way would be to stick with patterns first

想 + V

想 + 要 + N


Hmm, it seems like 想要 can be used with verbs too, at least based on https://www.chineseboost.com/grammar/xiang3-yao4-xiang3yao4-difference/

Is it valid to say 我想要点菜?


It is valid. @NasuSamaruk0 has explained it. My advice was only for a more straightforward way to remember as a start, so as not to become too confused. (So I said "first")

For a simple statement like 我想要点菜, the difference is minimal and I would even think it's kind of redundant. Adding 要 reinforces the desire and determination of the subject on such matter.
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Since 菜 is a noun in the sense of 点菜 (verb + object), would using 要 instead of 想 be more appropriate?

The reason I ask is because Duo has another 2 other similar sentences that use 要 instead.

我们要买单 - We want to get the check
服务员,我们要点菜 - Waiter, we want to order


Here, 想 refers to "to wish/to desire/would like", whereas 要 means "to want".

想 is used when you wish to do/get something

要 is used to indicate what you will plan to do/get something in the future


This is made extra worse because the "We would like to order" question requires you to use 要. But this question, "I would like to order" requires 想. I think it's just broken questions. Report report report.


Order is choose vegetables?


Yes. 菜 also means a dish.


I used 喜欢 for "would like" as it is often used in other sentences, hower was marked wrong. Is there a hint when 喜欢 is correct and when 想 is needed for "would like"?


Could I also use 订? More specific:Is 订 and 点 in the meaning of"to oder" interchangable?


Do I understand correctly that the characters in the "order" word mean roughly "a bit of food/cuisine" when taken literally?


点 has many meanings. Here it has the select/assign/appoint meaning - selecting dishes as your meal.

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