Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Three uses of 想 (Xiǎng)

The Chinese character (xiǎng) can mean three different things depending on how it is used. Since it is a pretty commonly used character, let’s look at its three uses:

(i) + Somebody/Something

我想你 (Wǒ xiǎng nǐ): I miss you

When used in this form, means to miss somebody/something.

If someone says that to you and you feel the same way too, then you can respond

我也想你(Wǒ yě xiǎng nǐ): I miss you too

想家(Xiǎng jiā): homesick

(jiā): home/family

(ii) + Verb Phrase

我想去中国(Wǒ xiǎng qù Zhōngguó): I want to go to China

In the above structure, means the desire to do something.

(iii) + Clause

我想他是中国人(Wǒ xiǎng tā shì Zhōngguórén): I think he is Chinese

Here is used to express someone’s opinion.

But how to ask someone what he or she is thinking

你在想什么?(Nǐ zài xiǎng shénme?): What are you thinking?


  1. xiǎng seems to be associated with things you feel affection for, whether it be a place, person or emotion. xiǎng you Mainali.

  2. didn't know about the last one, thanks! so it would be the same as "wo juede" in this case, right?