Level 1 Lesson 4.1 – I Want To Buy Fruits, Is It OK?

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I Want To Do Something In Chinese | Is It Ok In Chinese

In this video lesson we'll learn how to say want to do something in Chinese and how to ask is it ok in Chinese.

  • To want to do something in Chinese: 我想……。
  • Do you want to do something in Chinese: 你想...吗?
  • 想 VS. 不想
  • Is it OK in Chinese: 好吗?
  • OK VS. Not OK: 好/好的 VS. 不行
  • Something is not for sale in Chinese: 不卖



Grammar 1: Want To Do Something in Chinese· HSK 1

STATEMENT - In Chinese, xiǎng 想 means "to think", "to miss (someone)", and it can also be used to express to want to do something in Chinese:

Subject + 想 + Verb ( + Object )

  • tā xiǎng zhù zài xuéxiào 
    She wants to live on campus.
  • tā xiǎng mǎi shuǐguǒ
    He wants to buy fruits.


QUESTION - To ask questions like "do you want to do something" in Chinese, we can use the yes/no Question Particle 吗 and use this structure:

Subject + Verb ( + Object ) + ?

  • tā xiǎng zhù zài xuéxiào ma
    Does she want to live on campus?
  • tā xiǎng mǎi shuǐguǒ ma 
    Does he want to buy fruit?


ANSWER - Answering yes or no with questions like "do you want to do something" is very easy. We can answer with full sentences:

Subject 想 …… 。 / Subject 不想 …… 。

  • wǒ xiǎng xué Yīngyǔ
    I want to learn English.
  • tā bùxiǎng mài Hànyǔshū
    He doesn't want to sell his Chinese book.

Or with short versions:

。 / 不想

  • xiǎng 想。 (Yes, I do) want to.
  • bùxiǎng 不想。 (No, I do) not want to.


Grammar 2: Is It OK in Chinese · HSK 1

QUESTION - There are a lot of different ways to ask is it ok in Chinese. Today we'll learn one of them:


  • wǒ xiǎng zhù zài nǐjiā, hǎoma
    I want to live in your house, (is it) OK?
  • tā xiǎng mǎi cháyè, hǎoma
    He wants to buy some (dry) tea leaves, (is it) OK?


Grammar 3: Something Is Not For Sale in Chinese · HSK 2

Something 不卖

  • zhèběn Hànyǔshū búmài
    这本汉语书不卖 This Chinese book is not for sale.
  • zhèbù shǒujī búmài
    This cellphone is not for sale.
Lesson Content
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RC13Premium Student June 13, 2023 at 4:00 pm

in “他想买水果吗?”
“tā xiǎng mǎi shuǐguǒ ma”

are all 3rd tones before 果 guǒ changed to 2nd tone?

Please see lessons about 3rd-Tone Tone changes in our Pinyin Tone Course.

jnw0oPremium Student November 8, 2021 at 8:32 pm

Where in the sentence do prepositions (like 在) go? In previous lessons I was told that 在 goes after the subject and before the verb phrase because it gives information about where the verb is done, but in this lesson 在 is written after the verb?
I’m really confused and would like some clarification, thanks in advance

ChineseFor.UsAcademic Team November 8, 2021 at 11:27 pm

Please refer to Grammar 1, Grammar 2 and Grammar 3 in Level 1 Lesson 1.1

Roxanne CuPremium Student June 4, 2021 at 11:50 pm

Wow! So many third tones in a row. Glad that I took the tone course in Chinese for.us.

Can you clarify the difference between 同学 and 学生? I thought 同学 is primarily defined as a classmate and 学生 is primarily defined as a student? You appear to use each one interchangeably.

Please refer to Grammar 3: 同学 VS. 学生 in Chinese in our Beginner Course Lesson 18.1.

At the end of each course, please find the full list of the vocabulary in that course to locate explanation to a specific word.

JosephkamauPremium Student June 16, 2020 at 12:38 pm

You sometimes translate tong xue as student instead of classmate,,I have been noticing that. A lot
In this lesson and others before that,, please rectify that
I thought xue sheng is student if am wrong please advice me otherwise,,

FlojleePremium Student April 28, 2020 at 1:30 pm

If someone asked:
Is it more correct/common to answer with,
我不想买一个苹果 OR 我不想买苹果?

It is more common like this:

Q: 你想买苹果吗?
A: 我不想买苹果。/ 我不想买。/ 我不想。/不想。

cashaasdijkStudent April 10, 2020 at 2:17 pm

Whats the difference between yao 要 and xiang 想?

Natalie GladkayaPremium Student December 13, 2022 at 9:37 am

same question.I feel like 想 is more of an intention, while 要 is stronger. 我想喝可乐 is when I want to have a coke, but I need to go out and buy it first. 我要可乐 is when you’re making an order at a cafe. But I could be wrong!

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