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How to ask what someone would like to eat or drink

This video relates to asking others what they would like to eat or drink.
Li Yameng: Lydia, it’s time for lunch. Let’s go to a cafeteria.
Li Hui: I feel lazy today. How about ordering some takeout?
Li Yameng: No problem. But before ordering, I need to know what you like to eat. Lydia, nǐ xiǎng chī shénme?
Li Hui:Wǒ xiǎng chī huǒguō.
Li Yameng: Here, “xiǎng” means “would like to” or “want to”, and is followed by a verb like “chī”, “to eat”, or “hē”, “to drink”. And do you guys remember the sentence “nǐ jiào shénme míngzi”? “shénme” is a question word for what. You can try to answer the questions by yourself. “Wǒ xiǎng chī” plus food. We prepare some pictures of food we Chinese like to eat. Zhè shì miàntiáo, Zhè shì chǎofàn, Zhè shì huǒguō.
“Huǒguō” is a kind of Sichuan food, and noted for its peppery and hot taste. Lydia, I remember you are from Sichuan, right?
Li Hui: Mm-hmm.
Li Yameng: Do you like “Huǒguō”?
Li Hui: Of course I do. Wǒ shì Sìchuān rén, Wǒ ài huǒguō!
Actually, “huǒguō” was originally a kind of food eaten by poor boatsmen along the Yangtze River in Chongqing area. We use different kinds of meat and vegetables for “huǒguō”. Amy, nǐ xiǎng chī shénme?
Li Yameng: Wǒ xiǎng chī niúròu, shēngcài, bōcài, dòufu, nǐne?
Li Hui: Wǒ yě xiǎng chī niúròu hé shēngcài.
Here, “yě” means “also” or “too”. It is put before the verb “xiǎng”. “hé” means “and”, and it is used for nouns, verbs, not sentences. Like “wǒ hé nǐ” , “you and I”. “niúròu hé shēngcài”, “beef and lettuce”.
Li Yameng: Lydia, Wǒ hái xiǎng chī yángròu hé tǔdòupiàn.
Li Hui: Hái ? You want something in addition? But you told me that recently you are on diet.
Li Yameng: Come on.
Li Hui: OK. I’m just kidding. So if you want something else you may use “hái” and put it before “xiǎng”, like “Wǒ xiǎng chī niúròu hé shēngcài, hái xiǎng chī yángròu hé tǔdòupiàn”.
Li Yameng: Now let’s move on to the sentence structure.
Li Hui: The sentence goes like this. Let’s see.
Li Yameng: Subject plus “xiǎng” plus verb plus something. It means one would like to do or want to do something. In fact, “xiǎng” can be followed by different verbs, for example, “chī” meaning “to eat”. “hē” meaning “to drink”. “zuò” meaning “to do”. “kàn” meaning “to look”, “to watch”. “mǎi” meaning “to buy”. And so on so forth.
Li Hui: Here are some different drinks. kělè,kāfēi,chá,guǒzhī,píjiǔ Amy, Nǐ xiǎng hē shénme?
Li Yameng: Wǒ xiǎng hē kělè, nǐne?
Li Hui: Wǒ yě xiǎng hē kělè.
Just now we learned how to ask others what they would like to eat and to drink. So in Chinese we can say.
Nǐ Li Yameng: Nǐ xiǎng chī shénme? Nǐ xiǎng hē shénme?
Li Hui: And we can answer in this way.
Li Yameng: “Wǒ xiǎng chī” plus food. “Wǒ xiǎng hē” plus drink. For example, Wǒ xiǎng chī huǒguō,Wǒ xiǎng hē chá.
Li Hui: Amy, Wǒ yě xiǎng hē chá. So if I also want the same thing, I would just put “yě” before the verb “xiǎng”.
Li Yameng: If you want something extra or in addition, you can put “hái” before the verb “xiǎng”. Wǒ xiǎng chī niúròu hé shēngcài, Wǒ hái xiǎng chī yángròu hé tǔdòupiàn.
Li Hui: Now you know how to ask what someone would like to eat and to drink and how to give an answer.
Li Yameng: Then you can practise it with your Chinese friend. Zàijiàn!
Li Hui: Zàijiàn!

This video relates to asking others what they would like to eat or drink. The modal verb “想(xiǎng)” means “want to or would like to”, so “想(xiǎng)” is used in the sentence pattern to ask someone’s choice.


Subject + 想(xiǎng) + Verb + 什么(shénme)

“什么(shénme)” was explained this week, meaning what. “想(xiǎng)” can be followed by different verbs,

  • “吃(chī)”meaning “to eat”
  • “喝(hē)”meaning “to drink”
  • “做(zuò)”meaning “to do”
  • “看(kàn)”meaning “to look, to watch”
  • “买(mǎi)” meaning “to buy” and so on, so forth.
The question “你想吃什么(Nǐ xiǎng chī shénme)?” means “what would you like to eat?” We answer this question by saying 我(Wǒ)想(xiǎng)吃(chī)+food
Here is a list of words about food.
  • 面条(miàntiáo) noodles
  • 炒饭(chǎofàn) fried rice
  • 火锅(huǒguō) hotpot
If you want to say “what would you like to drink?”, you can just replace the verb “吃(chī)” with “喝(hē)”. You may need to know the following words about different drinks to answer this question.
  • 可乐(kělè) coke cola
  • 咖啡(kāfēi) coffee
  • 茶(chá) tea
  • 果汁(guǒzhī) juice
  • 啤酒(píjiǔ) beer

Why don’t you tell us what you would like to eat and drink in the comments section?

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